Tuesday, June 28, 2022

People struggling with bills should “work more hours or switch to a better-paying job,” says the minister

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Shelter Secretary Rachel Maclean made suggestions on how households could “protect” themselves against the rising cost of living

Speak with Sky newsthe Minister for Protection made suggestions as to how families could “secure” themselves against the rising cost of living.

Government Secretary Rachel Maclean has drawn criticism for saying people struggling with their bills should “take more hours or even switch to a better-paying job”.

Inflation is already at its highest level in 30 years and an estimated 1.5 million UK households will struggle to pay for food and energy next year, according to The National Institute of Economic and Social Research (NIESR).

Ms Maclean said: “In the longer term we need to have a plan to kickstart the economy and ensure people are better able to protect themselves – be it by taking more hours or moving to a better paying job and these are long term measures but on it let’s focus as government.”

She said each minister is considering how to ease “short-term pressures” from rising energy bills and food prices, but said the government was focused on “long-term measures” to protect the population.

When asked about those who have to go to food banks despite already working three jobs, she said the idea “may not be for everyone”.

Ms Maclean advised people to go to employment offices and get work coaches who will tailor their support to each individual and may offer some people extra hours.

“But of course it’s not going to work for people who are already working three jobs,” she said.

She referred these people to “targeted” support in schools and local authorities.

Labor Shadow Cabinet Minister Ian Murray said the “ridiculous” advice appeared to hark back to Margaret Thatcher’s reign.

The Shadow Scotland secretary said: “Sounds like Norman Tebbit’s ‘Get on the bike’ instructions from the 1980s.

“It’s so out of touch with reality that I’m sure the Minister knows how ridiculous it is, but they will defend Boris Johnson at all costs.”

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