Furious Brits working 3 jobs blast out-of-touch minister as they share harrowing reality

Tory minister Rachel Maclean yesterday sparked fury in a car crash interview where she suggested Brits struggling for money should work more hours or get better paid jobs.

As the cost of living continues to increase, putting more pressure on everyday people to pay for the bills, the “tone deaf” sentiments were slammed by Brits and the opposition party.

Talking to Sky News, she 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. 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.”

Rachel Maclean sparked fury in the Sky News interview on Monday



The Prime Minister’s official spokesman waded into the row, adding the Home Office Minister was clear “people’s circumstances may vary”.

Despite the PM’s support, the comments by the MP- who takes home a combined salary of £106,000 – were slammed as “out of touch” by some.

We spoke to three people who are ALREADY working three jobs to earn enough money to get by.

Kate Worboy and partner Charlie Skudder live in Bideford, Devon

Kate Worby and Charles Skudder with their three children



Kate, 29 has three jobs – a children’s entertainer for her own business, Magical Guests, a carer and a cleaner; Charlie, also 29, is a full-time university student, runs a valet business and worked nights as a carer at a local care home until it recently shut down. They have three children Alice, eight; Oliver, four and Edward, one. Kate believes Tory minister Rachel Maclean is completely out of touch.

“It’s just a ridiculous thing for her to say – for us to work more hours. There is no understanding of what our reality is. I don’t know how many more hours I can work without hurting my mental health. Everyone deserves a work life balance – not just the wealthy.

“I don’t believe more handouts are the answer. Parents on low income need more help on childcare. I want to work. The minimum wage is about £10 an hour, and childcare in my area is around £4 an hour – per child. I would be at loss by going to work – that’s the reality.

“It is just the latest example of how this government has no clue about the reality of people’s lives. There was also an MP spouting on about how much cheaper it is to cook a meal from scratch. It’s not. It’s much easier and cheaper to chuck nuggets and chips in the oven when you’re on a low income. Have they seen the price of veg compared to a bag of chips?

“It’s crazy how they expect low-income families to cope. They have no understanding.”

Kate believes that as well as help with childcare, more should be done to ensure affordable housing.

She says: “There needs to be a cap on rentals that would really help fight the cost of living. Landlords make it so expensive to rent privately. Rent is our biggest expense. It sets us back £1,000 a month just to have a roof over our head – and considering the income we have coming in, it’s just too much.

Kate adds: “I work 20 hours a week at a care worker for a family three days a week and also do cleaning for holiday rental homes whenever they need about four hours a week. They are both zero-hour contracts. I’m very lucky that I can bring my little love Edwards to both jobs. My main job is my business, Magical Guest – where me and Charlie dress up as characters – princesses and superheroes. That’s around 24 hours a week.

“Last Christmas was when we really noticed how prices were rising, so we started really cutting back on all the foodstuff we didn’t really need – snacks, biscuits, crisps. Luckily the kids are on free school meals, so I know they will at least get one hot meal a day. In the evening, if I don’t have enough food for a big meal, they will have fruit, cheese and crackers.

“We have completely cut back on meat – I can’t justify the cost, so we have a lot of veggies instead in meals.

“We don’t have cakes, but I will make treats like cornflake and rice crispy cakes.

“I want to create a solid future for my family, and we are doing the best we can, but it is frustrating. We are not asking for handouts – we are one family in many. We just don’t know what to do. We were not at all prepared for this cost of living in crisis.

“Things are not right and there are failings that need to be addressed but not the way that Minister Maclean is suggesting.

Andy Nicholls, 42, lives with his parents in Manchester and has three jobs

Andy Nicholls is a full-time youth worker, part-time in a hotel and a TV extra



The 42-year-old works more than 60 hours a week



He is a full-time youth worker, works part-time in a hotel and also as a TV extra. I have worked more than 60 hours per week.

“The minister’s comments are really unfair. It’s not taking into account everyone’s circumstances. I can’t work any more hours than I do already. Money is coming in but I have no security – it’s frightening how much everything costs more. I’m as scared as the next person about what happens next. There is so much uncertainty in the world.

“I get up at about 5am each day. I get to Premier Inn in Bolton for 6.15am, and I’m on shift until 10.30am. Then I’ve got two hours to get home, have a late breakfast of Weetabix, and I’m on the road again to get to my main job as a youth worker in Wigan. I’m there until 9pm and then drive back home for 10pm – and bed!”

Andy was hoping to move out of his parents’ this year and have enough to put down a deposit for a property, but due to rising costs – he has had to get a third job.

“Bills and food costs have increased massively, so I give my parents more money – to help cover the increase and take on more hours at work,” he says.

“I also got a third job – working as an extra for a production company. It’s usually around three days solid work every month, and I take holiday leave from my other two jobs to do it.

“I am working so hard, and it’s a struggle – so it really worries me how I’d cope with paying a mortgage and paying all my gas, electric, and water bill? Everything is just going up and up. I really don’t know how families – who don’t earn as much as me are surviving.

“I did not want to be living at home in my forties. I work all these hours to have a chance of future security. I have zero social life, and I know that it has really affected my mental health, but I don’t feel I have a choice if I don’t want to be suffering later.”

Single mother Ema Howling, 50, lives in a flat in North West London with her seven-year-old son Haze

Ema Howling with her son Haze

Ema juggles three jobs – as a nanny, a community group worker and coffee shop assistant and is on Universal Credit.

“It just shows how out of touch is she – especially considering single parents. In my pub job, the hourly rate is £8.71, and childcare in London is £7.50.”

As well as two part-time jobs – nannying and coffee shop work, Emma started looking for a third job in March.

“I’ve been a community group worker for just over a month now,” she says. “If I work any more hours, I would be financially worse off.”

“As a single mum, it’s never been easy money-wise, but these last few months have been very difficult. I used to work ten hours a week, fitting it in around my son’s school hours. Everything is going up and up. Every day I’m trying to find ways to cut costs where I can.



AFP via Getty Images)

“As I still claim Universal Credit, I can also go to my local food bank once a month – it is a godsend.

“We used to have treats and snacks cupboard at home, but I can’t afford that now. I’ve now switched to all supermarkets’ own brands for everything.

“Last year, my once a week treat for Haze used to be a trip to the cinema and popcorn.

“Instead, we watch a movie at home together with a bag of Aldi brand Wotsits. It is still a treat for him. I’m lucky that he understands what mum can and cannot afford anymore.”

Victoria Benson, chief executive of Gingerbread, the single parent charity: said “We are experiencing the biggest cost-of-living shock since the 70s.

“Housing, food and fuel are big costs for any household but for single parents they are huge. Many single parents are taking on multiple jobs to try and make ends meet but the reality is that they can’t juggle or shift parent as couple parents Unfortunately, evidence shows that working more hours increases the risk of falling into problem debt, and this is primarily due to the cost of childcare.

“It’s clear that the cost-of-living crisis is already having a devastating impact on people across the UK and is causing hunger, hardship and mental anguish for too many single parent families. This government needs to urgently put in place targeted support for those on low incomes or the stark reality is that more single parents and their children will be forced to live in poverty and experience the disadvantage this brings.”

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George Holan

George Holan is chief editor at Plainsmen Post and has articles published in many notable publications in the last decade.

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