THE Conservatives have pledged to reverse Labour's national insurance hike by selling no more than 1.5m of Britain's least important children.
The tax cut-child auction will form the centrepiece of the Tories' election campaign after anxious party chiefs urged shadow chancellor George Osborne to produce a populist policy that was also imaginatively cruel.
Under the bold plans children from households with an income of less than £22,500 a year will offered for sale via a series of online auctions, email newsletters and live events at some of Britain's biggest race courses.
Labour immediately attacked the policy, but leading economists stressed it will be difficult for any party to cut the deficit over the next four years without some sort of massive child sale.
Mr Osborne said: "Many of these children are pointless, dirty and rude. Nevertheless they do posses an underlying asset value that any responsible chancellor faced with historic levels of debt would be duty bound to exploit.
"And bear in mind, an increasing number of them are unbelievably fat, making them particularly attractive to foreign circus owners and Cambodian sweatshops keen to control their food-related overheads.
"We can say to these entrepreneurs 'look, it has good hands, sturdy legs and you won't need to give it a chocolate biscuit until Christmas'."
The policy is designed to appeal to middle income parents who are short of cash and have children that may one day be able to work for John Lewis or the customer services department of a UK-based telecommunications company.
Helen Archer, a swing voter from Peterborough, said: "I've insisted all along that I would not vote Tory unless they came up with a tax cut that allowed me to keep my babies. Bullseye."
Meanwhile, early bidders for Britain's army of under-performing youngsters are expected to include the Roman Catholic Church, the Nanjing Iron Ore Refinery and Kentucky Fried Children.