MP for Redditch Rachel Maclean says people struggling with cost of living should get better job

Rachel Maclean admitted the idea would not work for all households

The MP for Redditch has said people struggling during the cost-of-living crisis should consider taking on more hours at work or moving to a better-paid job.

Rachel Maclean, admitted the idea would not work for all households, but said the solution for some people could be to look for additional work.

The comments come as inflation, energy bills, and petrol prices are soaring.

Ms Maclean said: "I think what we need to focus on now is over the long-term. We do have these short-term pressures on us that we're all aware of."

The Tory MP adds: "But 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," she told Sky News.

Ms Maclean said she was not "suggesting for one moment" that such an option would work for everyone.

But she said those with extra capacity could visit job centres to apply for either more hours or better rewarded employment.

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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."

Shadow foreign secretary David Lammy branded the comments "tone deaf".

TUC general secretary Frances O'Grady, who is calling for an emergency Budget, said: "Working people don't need lectures - they need help.

"Millions are working flat out but are still struggling to cover the basics.

"It's a bit rich for ministers to tell people to find better-paid work - especially when they have presided over an explosion of low-paid and insecure jobs."

This afternoon Ms Maclean used Twitter to release a statement.

She said: "Highly inaccurate and irresponsible reporting.

"Sky have misrepresented my comments about a longer term plan and options for some people and suggested I think they are short term answers."

"They are not, I did not say this and I clearly set out all the immediate help provided."