"It may be right for some people... but of course it's not going to work for people who are already working in three jobs."
A UK Conservative Minister has offered a solution to the rising cost of living crisis faced by many people in Europe and beyond – work more hours.
Speaking on Sky News on Monday morning (16 May), Rachel Maclean, Minister for Safeguarding, argued that taking up a more financially lucrative post might also be an option for the general public.
"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," Maclean said.
"These are long-term actions but that's what we're focused on as a Government."
Challenged on this potential measure by Kay Burley, Maclean acknowledged that her idea is "not as straightforward" as perhaps initially envisioned.
"Of course it's not and I'm not suggesting that for one moment but 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 – but one of the obstacles is about being able to take on more hours or even move to a better-paid job," she began.
"And of course, it is 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.
"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."
— Sky News (@SkyNews) May 16, 2022
In response, UK Labour Party member and Shadow Secretary of State for Northern Ireland Peter Kyle criticised Maclean's methodology.
"What we need ministers to be doing is solving the economic problems that families have – this is their jobs as politicians. Their jobs as politicians aren't just to tell people to work harder, work longer and go for a promotion," Kyle told Sky News.
"It's actually to accept the reality that because of the decisions they are making, people are no longer able to eat a decent diet. This is the situation that we face and there are direct political consequences to the priorities and decisions made."