Readers react after Conservative MP Rachel Maclean says that people could 'take on more hours' to cope with cost of living

The Conservative MP and Safeguarding Minister and MP for Redditch Rachel Maclean was labelled as 'out of touch for her comments on the cost of living crisis earlier this week.

Tuesday, 17th May 2022, 11:13 am

The Tory MP drew flack from all directions after her comments on the cost of living crisis. Speaking on Good Morning Britain and Sky News the MP said that people could ‘take on more hours’ at work or move to a ‘better paid job’ to cope with the cost of living surge of late.

We asked our readers for their thoughts, here are a selection of their comments:

Neil Taylor kicked off things adding his view that without lower paid workers contributing vital infrastructure would fall apart, “Totally out of touch,she makes it seem so easy to get that higher paid job. But what about the absolutely vital minimum wage jobs which keep the country going, I bet she'd be lost if she couldn't get served in a supermarket, corner shop, petrol station, restaurant etc. All because all those folk got higher paid jobs. I'll say this, if MP's didn't work for a day no-one would notice, but if shop workers etc. stopped there'd be chaos.”

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“Didn't Norman Tebbit suggest something similar back in the day?”

Julie Patterson has a solution though, one that many would get behind, “Stop subsidising big companies with huge profits paying working minimum wage would be a start. Making up the shortfall with benefits is ludicrous.”

Frequent commenter Eugene Solomon kept his take short, “You voted for these people...”

From Twitter, Richard of Yore wrote, “Recycling old ideas: As I recall, didn't Norman Tebbit suggest something similar back in the day?”

And Chris James says that, “I reckon pretty much everything she does could be replaced with a computer.” A comment that received a number of likes.

Some people were calling for MPs to experience how many people actually live, by cutting their pay.

Darren Miranda says, “Cap all MP's wages in line with the rest of us and see how they get on.”

He wasn’t the only one. Ken Humphries added, “Pay her the minimum wage for 6 months let’s see how she gets on. She must be deluded.”

And Mark Earl said that it’s “Easy to say when your salary is over £80k a year.”

Sharron Baines added, “I’m 60. I work just under 40 hours per week in constant pain having a full time job, waiting for my full knee replacement. How the hell does this person expect me and many others to do extra hours?”

Garry Mills wants to know, “who will do the low paid jobs. ffs Idiots are running our country.”

Rita Rigg says that the government would be “Sending kids up chimneys next. How do pensioners get work to make up the triple lock promise. Give back your £2000 to those who need it.”

Alex Elstone simply asked, “How? Tell us how people can do that! The better paid jobs have to be there and a person can’t work extra hours if the requirement is not there!”

"They haven't got a clue what it's like to go with out”

Others found it quite difficult to contain their contempt for the comments and views held by the MP.

Richard Swift was not holding back in his response, “The epitome of the "nasty party". Self-entitled, smug, uncaring. Oh and a hypocritical parasite for good measure. Sadly though, still with the support of many people who share the self-same qualities (or are just too plain THICK to see past a snappy 3-word slogan).”

Stuart Smith was equally agitated, “What a total idiot MP caused this by wrong decisions. They haven't got a clue what it's like to go with out, even you are working, so they can tax us to death and give themselves massive pay rises and insult us with stupid comments.”

Peter Ealey asked everyone to “Look at the wider issue, you don't get to be a tory MP after a lifetime digging ditches, you get there after a lifetime of privilege after a privileged upbringing. These people are so utterly out of touch with reality that their failure to understand is little better than a learning disability. You might say they are reality impaired, or you might just say they are rich and incredibly thick.”

“These people are so utterly out of touch with reality"

And a few others sarcastically responded, case in point being Janet Spooner, who wrote “Her job looks very cushy. Lots of money with expenses and travel. There may be a lot trying to become an MP.” You may be onto something there Janet.

There were some responses in support of the MPs comments. Andy Rayner over on Twitter put forward the point that, “Any time somebody suggests people could take more personal responsibility for their financial situation, there’s a pile on of criticism. There is something very broken in our society.”

Robbie Hendrix also on Twitter added his view that “She’s right.”