Minister sparks backlash after suggesting young people shouldn't stay on 'plodding path' with their cash

23 September 2022, 18:13 | Updated: 23 September 2022, 18:47

Treasury minister Richard Fuller says young people shouldn't be 'idle'

By Phoebe Dampare Osei

A treasury minister sparked a furious backlash after suggesting hard-working young people are 'plodding' along by letting their money 'idle' in their bank accounts.

Richard Fuller, a junior treasury minister, spoke to Tom Swarbrick on LBC after Chancellor Kwasi Kwarteng unveiled the biggest tax cuts since 1972 in a major shake-up of the UK's finances.

He told Tom: “When I was about 25, actually ironically, that was about the time that we had a Conservative government that was looking to cut taxes, and what I felt then, was this meant opportunity for me.

Read more: Chancellor slashes £45billion off burden with biggest tax cuts since 1972

Read more: Andrew Marr: This Kwasi-Budget is the gamble of a lifetime - but is it what we voted for?

"This meant that if I took a risk with the way I wanted to run my career if I didn’t go down the plodding path of just step by step I would have a government that was on my side. It encouraged me to look at things like venture capital. It encouraged me to look at ways in which I could grow my business.

Tom hit back, telling the minister: “These 25, 26 year olds don't have any capital to risk.”

Mr Fuller replied: “I didn’t have any capital either. It’s not a matter of having capital to risk- it’s about motivation.

"It is about saying that when you are 24, 25 that this government is saying we want the country to grow, the economy. If you are 25 and 26 we want to give you the opportunity to say ‘Hey if I’m successful, I can keep more of my money if I’m successful - the incentives for me to take that risk not to do the plodding normal thing."

He went on to defend the Chancellor's mini-budget saying: “We want to encourage you to do that, and we’ve taken steps today to do that.”

Jess Phillips MP responded on Twitter, writing: “I had 2 kids when I was 26 plodding along building up a career supporting the vulnerable not being a venture capitalist what a plodder I was. Plodding along, working, raising two kids, volunteering with abused kids. Such a loser.”

Another person wrote: “Thought I'd just finished a busy day, but this minister would think I was "plodding".

Another said: “Presumably Police Officers, Teachers and Nurses are 'plodding along’”

A third asked: “Did the minister just say people who want a stable job and secure livelihood “plodding”?”

Stephen Dixon posted: “Hey everybody apparently all us middle earners pulling our tripe out everyday are just PLODDING. So says our illustrious government through a treasury minister."

His comments come just hours after the Chancellor unveiled the biggest tax shake-up in a generation.

Mr Kwarteng's mini Budget was designed to help the government and the country tackle the cost of living crisis, but sparked a plunge in the value of the pound and criticism that the tax cuts announced will only significantly help the rich.

The key measures announced today:

  • Income tax: Basic rate will be cut by 1p to 19p and the 45p rate for top earners will be abolished from April 2023
  • Stamp duty: The threshold for paying stamp duty was doubled to £250,000 - and for first time buyers it's been upped to £425,000
  • Corporation tax: Planned rise from 19 to 25 per cent is scrapped
  • National insurance: 1.25 per cent increase scrapped from November 6
  • Bankers' bonuses: Cap axed
  • Alcohol duty: Planned increase for beer, cider, wine and spirits all cancelled, coming into effect in February 2023

Mr Kwarteng said the changes would "simplify the tax system and make Britain more competitive".

"It will reward enterprise and work. It will incentivise growth. It will benefit the whole economy and the whole country," he said.

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