‘Over 50s should carry on working’

A minister was accused of being “out of touch” after urging cash-strapped over-50s to consider “gig economy” jobs like delivering pizzas.

Work and Pensions Secretary Mel Stride said those struggling financially should look at jobs “they might not have otherwise thought of” to pay the bills.

He said it could mean delivering pizzas, as an Uber driver or in Amazon warehouses.

The minister spoke at the London headquarters of food delivery firm Deliveroo, which has employed 62% more riders over 50 since 2021.

Mr Stride, 61, also urged bosses to offer more flexibility to persuade those aged 50 to 64 to stay working or return.

READ MORE: On your bike! Over-50s ‘should deliver takeaways’ says jobs minister

He said: “There are loads of great opportunities out there and it’s of course good for people to consider options they might not have otherwise thought of.”

Mr Stride’s comments come amid a sharp rise in the number of people neither working nor looking for work since Covid.

The worker shortage is straining the labour market and the Bank of England has warned it will help keep inflation high.

But Lib Dem Treasury spokeswoman Sarah Olney said: “If this Government thinks the best way to get over-50s in work is to tell them to get on their bikes, then they’re even more out of touch than you could imagine.”

Ex-Lib Dem minister Sir Steve Webb warned that over-50s could not afford to take gig economy jobs that did not offer pensions, adding: “The Work and Pensions Secretary should be more aware of this risk than most people.”

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