Philip Hammond says autumn budget must help young people

Posted On: 
7th September 2017

Philip Hammond told Tory MPs the party must use the autumn budget to help young people while adding that his generation has never been as well off as they are now, according to reports.

Philip Hammond in the House of Commons
Credit: 
PA Images

The Chancellor is said to have asked MPs to submit suggestions on how best to help the disparity between generations and especially how to help students going to university and being “hit with debt”.

Speaking to the 1922 Committee of backbench Conservative MPs, Mr Hammond was apparently “incredibly barbed” on the issue of the Conservative election campaign, saying he had only been “allowed out” to talk about the economy on infrequent occasions.

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One MP present told the Guardian: “He talked about the fact that, in his opinion, in the election campaign not enough had been made of the economy.

“He basically sold how important the economy is going to be. He said if you want to see what a Corbyn Britain would look like, well, just get on the plane to Caracas.”

The source added: “There was a lot of stuff about students. He said look at us, no mortgage, everybody with a pension and never had more money in the current account. You compare that to the younger generation, if they go to university they are hit with debt … and there was a need to address that. Kwasi is his point man and we’ve been asked to submit in writing thoughts before the Budget.”

The comments come after the former head of the No 10 policy unit said a generation felt “locked out” of London and the south east because it had “become a playground for the super-rich”.

He wrote in the Daily Telegraph last week: "The truth is that a whole generation has lived through a period in which the benefits of capitalism have not been obvious to them," he said.

"Is it any wonder that the virtues and benefits of capitalism are not apparent to them? Why would you support capitalism if you have no prospect of owning any capital?”

Shadow Minister for Voter Engagement and Youth Affairs Cat Smith told the Guardian: “The Tories have failed young people so on education, housing and living standards that it’s no surprise they were rejected so overwhelmingly at the election.

“If Philip Hammond is looking for ideas to help young people, he could consult Labour’s manifesto For the Many not the Few for policies to scrap student fees, restore education maintenance grants, end the discrimination in the minimum wage and increasing it to £10 an hour for everyone.”