Mel gets strident over workshy boomers
Not since Norman Tebbitt told youngsters to stop rioting and to get on their bike has a Conservative Minister ventured back to the cycle lane. Until last week that is. Then 61 year old , chubby cheeked, Treasury friendly ,DWP supremo, Mel Stride told the over 50’s to sign up with deliveroo.
I am a Santander (aka Boris) Biker, so I spend a lot of time getting out of the way of Deliveroo bikes which are electric and fast. They are ridden by young people , I know this only because I live very close to a MacDonalds and see the behelmeted rides face to face, as they load orders into their paniers.
Otherwise, I am too busy getting out of their way as they terrorise the cycle lanes at speeds Barry Sheen would have been scared of.
Apparently Mel met a 51 year old Deliveroo rider who’d lost 20 pounds since signing up. I lost more than that on the Stewards Cup yesterday. One slimmer does not a summer make.
Mel should try getting a bike from his Caxton Street HQ round parliament square down to number 10, I hear that take aways have been in demand there lately.
I have yet to see a Deliveroo rider who looks over 30, I doubt that Deliveroo discriminate against the over 50s but I suspect that the over 50s discriminate against Deliveroo as doing the Deliveroo thing requires the recklessness, agility and companionship of youth.
So Mel is on a bumpy bike path if he thinks the over 50s are getting on Deliveroo bikes right now.
Work and pensions
He is also on dodgy ground when it comes to pensions, a subject that forms the other half his working brief. Jo Cumbo has picked up on the fact that Deliveroo is at the heart of the gig-economy’s battle with the unions and the pensions regulator because Deliveroo riders are classed as self-employed.
As you can see, most Deliveroo riders are young and live life with crash helmets on, but they haven’t been getting workplace pensions and that’s worrying Jo Cumbo
The irony of the Work and Pensions minister suggesting over-50s consider gig economy jobs, is that these companies are not required to offer workplace pensions. Unions are in a battle with Deliveroo to recognise its riders as workers, and thereby offer them workplace rights.
— Josephine Cumbo (@JosephineCumbo) August 5, 2023
That’s onside with the pensions agenda but frankly it’s not the big issue, If an over 50 thinks he/she’ll be cycling into a comfy retirement on a Deliveroo workplace pension, my advice is “I wouldn’t be starting from there!”
I’d be making sure that I had a plan for life that didn’t revolve either around Universal Credit or pizza delivery,
The long Covid years of lounging around in jim-jams and calling it working from home have done nothing for our nation’s work ethic.
There are currently a record 2.5million people who are not in employment because of long-term sickness.
Yes, some of them are genuinely unwell. But 2.5million sick notes?
Sadly, there are no official statistics on lazy bastards who are allergic to work.
The answer is not to tell the oldies to start delivering takeaways, they should get a proper job, there are plenty of them about. And if you’ve done the pension thing you are entitled to not feeling guilty for putting your feet up, I’m with my boyhood hero Tony P.
“Sorry, minister. When you are on the far side of 50 you want to stop and smell the roses not the margarita pizza with extra pepperoni.”
Get a job, spend your pension but don’t do a Deliveroo