Thank goodness for Rachel Maclean. The Home Office minister — who in 2021 claimed £213,000 in expenses, higher than the average of £203,000 claimed by her peers — was on hand this week to propose that the best way to combat the rising cost of living faced by an estimated 23.4 million people was to “work more hours or get a better paid job”. It’s this outside the box thinking that we need much more of, not less.
With inflation soaring to 9 per cent — a 40-year high — this sage advice couldn’t have come at a better time. The New Economics Foundation estimates that this year UK food banks will be required to distribute even more than the 2.5 million emergency food parcels they did in 2021. In 2019/20, the Joseph Rowntree Foundation found that 18.2 million people (27.7 per cent) were living under a socially acceptable standard of living. New analysis now estimates that by April this will have increased to 23.4 million (34.2 per cent of the population). The average shortfall for those below this threshold will be £8,600 per year.
With that in mind, and in tribute to Rachel’s enterprising thinking, here are some other innovative and original ways that Brits can survive the economic catastrophe that is not just incoming but, for many, is already here (warning, it’s not good news for Grandma).
From just £3 per week
Eat your pets
Strapped for cash? Can’t afford food? Worry not! If you’re economical, Tiddles the cat could feed a family for a week.
Got no pets? Bugs
Earthworms contain 60-70 per cent protein, 6-11 per cent fat, 5-21 per cent carbohydrates, and 2-3 per cent minerals and a wide range of vitamins, including niacin. The creepy crawlies are also higher in essential amino acids than either meat or fish meal. Nom nom nom.
Sleep is for the weak
Beginning in December 1963, 17-year-old American Randy Gardner stayed awake for 11 days and 25 minutes, totalling a quite remarkable 64.4 hours. This, it’s said, broke the previous record of 260 hours by one Tom Rounds. Do you know how many extra shifts that time will allow you? Let us tell you, it’s a lot.