A tax raid on older workers is being planned by Philip Hammond to pay for a giveaway for younger voters.
Treasury sources have revealed that next month’s Budget will observe the chancellor deliver a “big, bold” plan that will try to wrench a share of the youth vote from Labour.
It is reported that Hammond is to be looking at decreasing tax rates for younger workers, which would be paid for by cutting pension tax relief for better off workers, who are typically older.
While this could help lessen the appeal of Jeremy Corbyn to indifferent younger voters, it runs the possibility of alienating a group that is traditionally regarded as Tory faithful.
There is also some speculation that Hammond could reveal cuts in National Insurance for younger workers.
“Philip has said that we have to have a radical Budget, something that is a big offer to the nation,” said a senior government source.
“It means memorable stuff that changes thinking and changes futures. Pre-conference, there was very much a view that it had to be a safety first Budget.
“Now the view has galvanised that this Budget has got to be big, it’s got to be powerful, it’s got to be revolutionary.”
“Anything that rebalances and helps younger people I would be in favour of,” said a former universities minister under David Cameron, Lord Willetts, to the BBC Radio 4 Today programme.
There has been a developing movement among certain backbench Tory MPs to get Hammond dismissed over his less-than-enthusiastic approach to Brexit, often described as “Eeyore” as a reference to the gloomy outlook adopted by the friend of Winnie the Pooh.
And, his mishandled attempts to reform National Insurance earlier this year were widely denounced as an attack on ‘white van man.’ The plans were eventually dumped within 24 hours.