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Minister says people should work longer hours to combat cost of living


Minister says people should work longer hours to combat cost of living


Government minister has said workers struggling with rising bills should consider taking on more hours or moving to a better paid job.

Rachel Maclean, safeguarding minister in the Home Office, said famililes could “protect” themselves from soaring energy and food bills and tax risis by working more.

“I think what we need to focus on now is over the long-term,” she told Sky News’ Kay Burley on Monday.

“We do have these short-term pressures on us that we’re all aware of.

“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.

“These are long-term actions but that is what we are focused on as a Government.”

Ms Mclean acknowledged that finding better paid, or more work, would not be for everyone.

She added: “It may be right for some people, they may be able to access additional hours, but, of course, it is not going to work for people who are already in three jobs.

“That’s why we need to have the other measures, such as all the help we are putting into schools, the help with the local authorities … and that’s where we are going to target help to where it is most needed.”

It comes as inflation is predicted to hit double figures later this year as the cost of living crisis continues to bite.

Treasury Committee chair Mel Stride warned on Monday the UK was heading for a “wage-price spiral”.

Asked on BBC Radio 4’s Today Programme if the Bank of England had failed, he said: “Undoubtedly if you look at the headline [inflation] figures having a target of 2 per cent and moving up to beyond 10 per cent this autumn as is forecast is not a good look.

“It’s fair to say we are not unique in that position – there are a number of countries around the world, US and Spain and Eurozone have worst inflation than we do at the moment.

“The area where you can really criticise the around what’s happening in the labour market which has become very overheated and I think we are now in the foothills of a wage-price spiral with wage chasing higher prices leading to higher wages in turn.”

He added the Bank had been slow off the mark and would need to be more aggressive in tackling it.

When asked if there should be a windfall tax on energy companies to help mitigate the cost of living crisis, he added: “We are in extraordinary circumstances, the super normal profits these companies have made are vast and I personally think there is a case now for looking at a one off windfall tax and channeling that money towards those who are really struggling and bearing the brunt of these challenges.”

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