Thank God we have Martin Lewis to trust

We’re lucky that we live in an era where there is empathy for society’s poorest.

Sage advice from Martin Lewis
Sage advice from Martin Lewis

As the Bank of England warns of “apocalyptic” food price increases and as it’s revealed that oil companies didn’t pass on the Chancellor’s VAT duty cut and are making so much profit that they don’t know what to do with it, it’s good to know there’s a plan to help those on low and middle incomes.

And here it is: Become an MP. Or the CEO of a small business. Or get a fourth job – that’s the niche advice for those already working three jobs to pay for their kids’ packed lunches.

Minister Rachel Maclean says people shouldn’t be so poor. It’s that simple. Run harder on the treadmill. Spend less time sleeping. Get a promotion to a job for which you don’t have the necessary skills – no jokes about Rachel here, please – and don’t moan about not being able to feed your kid.

We live in an era where people like Martin Lewis, Marcus Rashford and Jack Monroe are all doing more to help the people of this country than the entire cabinet.

Though at least Michael Gove, bless him, gives us all a laugh when he breaks into Harry Enfield-esque impersonations and tells us all to ‘calm down, calm down’.

That’s easy to say, of course, when you can afford your £3,000-a-year electricity bill and you haven’t lost your £20 Universal Credit top-up.

It’s not just the campaigning work of Messers Rashford, Monroe and Lewis that cuts through.

It is also the fact they provide helpful information while such elected voices of the people as Rachel Maclean are earning £106,000 and looking forward to eight weeks’ holiday a year.

Her £218,125 a year expenses for 2020-21, incidentally, were mostly spent on staff, though the £23,000 she spent on accommodation and £4,300 more on travel and subsistence would probably have helped some of the people she’s lecturing.

Given that there’s an election in two years, perhaps Rachel’s Redditch constituents might want to apply for her job – they could earn more cash and cosy up to a Prime Minister who gets to eat all the cake and break all his promises without consequence.

In Boris’s case, he can not only afford his energy bills, he also gets mates to pay for his new wallpaper – until he gets found out and has to refund them.

The cost of living crisis will dominate the agenda in coming years, though the fracture of the United Kingdom won’t be far behind.

There was a certain genius to the Northern Ireland agreement, in that it kept all parties happy and on board while allowing them to apply their own identity.

Boris Johnson must be furious with the person who has let down the people of Northern Ireland by promising them fairies and unicorns.

The technological solutions that were offered didn’t exist.

The impact assessment papers pointed out the flaws in the post-Brexit Northern Ireland Protocol. Which means Boris either didn’t read them or read them and ignored them, because the mess that we’re in right now was as clear as day a long, long time ago. It was included in a report to, um, Boris Johnson.

Still, in an age where Ministers can say: Stop being poor, get a job as a World Boss, it’s good to know that Brexit has given us back control. Control of the overdraft, that is, rather than the stuff we were promised.

The Bank of England has reported the cost of Brexit at £444 million a week.

That is slightly worse than the £350 million refund we were promised – to be precise: £794 million a week worse. Or, to round it up, £41.2 billion a year.

Just think of all the CEO salaries for small businesses. Actually, you don’t have to, I’ve done it for you.

With the money we’ve wasted, we could have appointed 1.37 million people on £30k a year without any of them having to become an MP and patronise us.

Boris’s unbuilt ’40 new hospitals’ would have cost £24 billion – so we could actually have built them and still had £17 billion left over in small change for bridges to Northern Ireland, floating airports or other fantasy projects.

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