Britons struggling with the cost of living crisis should consider working more hours or moving to a better-paying job, a minister in Boris Johnson’s government has said.
Home Secretary Rachel Maclean said the government wanted people to help themselves more in the long term, arguing they could use their local employment office to boost their wages.
“In the longer term, we need to have a plan to boost the economy and make sure people are better able to protect themselves, whether that’s by taking more hours or moving to a better-paying job,” she told Sky News.
Recalling that people were struggling to work “every hour that God sends” and were still forced to use food banks, Ms Maclean said she “didn’t have a moment suggesting” it would work for everyone would take more hours.
The minister said: “One of the obstacles, and it may not be for everyone, is being able to take more hours or even more for a better paying job.”
Ms Maclean added: “That’s why job centers exist, that’s why job coaches exist – to work with individuals on their own individual situations.
“It might be right for some people, they might be able to access extra hours, but of course it won’t work for people who already have three jobs.”
Asked what the Government is doing for families struggling to make ends meet, Ms Maclean pointed to an extra £500million given to the Hardship Support Fund and said local authorities were best in the Able to know how to distribute emergency payments and support.
The minister also rejected the idea of a separate cost-of-living minister, saying tackling inflation is “the job of the chancellor and the whole government”.
It comes as regulator Ofgem proposed that the energy price cap on household energy bills could be reviewed every three months. The energy regulator said it could introduce two new reviews a year, one in January and another in July.
It would help pass on savings from a possible fall in gas prices to customers more quickly, Ofgem said on Monday, and also protect hard-pressed utilities from damage from the cap.
There have been mixed messages from the government on the idea of a windfall tax on oil and gas company profits. Chancellor Rishi Sunak said he was “not naturally attracted” to the idea but “neither option is off the table”.
Labor will table an amendment to the Queen’s speech for a one-off windfall tax on record oil and gas company profits in the House of Commons on Tuesday.
Labor Party’s Ed Miliband, shadow secretary for climate action, said on Sunday he believes the Chancellor will eventually impose a windfall tax because it is “an unanswerable case”.
Meanwhile, NHS prescription fees in England are set to be frozen in the latest move by ministers to ease the cost of living crisis amid fears the squeeze on family incomes is hurting the Tories.
Health Minister Sajid Javid said the charges – which normally rise with inflation – would be withheld this year to “put the money back into people’s pockets”.
The Department for Health and Social Care (DHSC) said the freeze, which is the first in 12 years, will save patients £17million.
https://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/politics/cost-of-living-boris-johnson-b2079761.html Brits struggling with the cost of living should get a ‘better job’, says the minister