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Struggling people should ‘work more hours or get a better paid job’, says senior Tory

A UK Government minister has said people who are struggling with the cost of living should take on more hours or move to a better-paid job. Rachel Maclean, the safeguarding minister, made those suggestion as some of the ways households could “protect themselves” as prices soar.

She told Sky News’ Kay Burley there was more short term help coming from the government but also said: “Over the long term we need to have a plan to grow the economy and make sure that people are able to protect themselves better – whether that is by taking on more hours or moving to a better paid job and these are long term actions but that’s what we’re focused on as a government.”

When told people are already working a number of jobs and still having to visit food banks, she said: “We have often heard in the past when people are facing problems with their budgets that one of the obstacles – and it may not be for everybody – is about being able to take on more hours or even move to a better-paid job. Of course, it’s an individual situation, depending on that particular family’s situation but that’s why the job centres exist, that’s why the work coaches exist, that’s why we’ve put the support into those job centres – to work with individuals on their own individual situation.

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“So it may be right for some people – they may be able to access additional hours but of course it’s not going to work for people who are already working in three jobs.”

Ms Maclean added: “We’ve already taken action to help people with energy bills and there’s more help coming.”

Last week, Prime Minister Boris Johnson said there would be more support coming for people but the Treasury made clear that there would be no emergency budget.

In February, the chancellor that most households would be given a £150 council tax discount while consumers would also be given £200 to help with energy bills this autumn, to be repaid over five years. Wales has its own schemes too.

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