Shadow Chancellor George Osborne says that under these proposals for a “people’s bank bonus”, younger people and those on lower incomes would be encouraged to save for their future.
Osborne says the move would allow those “who have suffered the most from Gordon Brown’s attack on our saving culture, to start saving for the future in a way that is suitable for them”.
He says: “Taxpayers bailed out the banks, so they deserve a ’people’s bank bonus’ when the time comes to sell the Government shares.”
But Liberal Democrat Shadow Chancellor Vince Cable blasted the Tories for “trying to buy votes”.
He says: “They have no understanding of the economy they are aspiring to run.”
Cable says the Conservatives should not be “dangling this prospect” in front of voters when it is likely to be at least five years before Royal Bank of Scotland will be back in private ownership.
He dubbed the move “Tory electioneering at its most cynical”.
Cable says the best strategy is to reprivatise the banks at a time which maximises return for the taxpayer and selling shares off at a discounted rate will not achieve this.
He adds: “Actively encouraging people on very low incomes to invest in a volatile share market beggars belief and shows just how removed the Tories are from everyday reality.”
Meanwhile, chief secretary to the Treasury Liam Byrne described the Conservative proposals as “an irresponsible and expensive political gimmick”.