Irony: a concept lost on many in this day and age it seems.

None so more than businessman Charlie Mullins, of Pimlico Plumbers.

The entrepreneur handed over the reigns of his independent plumbing company – worth a reported £100m – to his son earlier this year.

And it appears he’s enjoying a bit of rest and relaxation in Spain as a result.

At least, that would explain why he was sunning himself in Marbella while ranting about how the government’s furlough scheme encourages a “stupid culture” of workers “sitting at home doing nothing” during an appearance on ITV’s This Morning.

Speaking to Eammon Homes and Ruth Langsford, Mullins said

We’ve got to get them back to work [...] the majority of people are in a position now where they can go back to work but unfortunately, they don’t want to go back to work. 

If you’re paying people to sit at home and do nothing, then that’s what they’re going to do. 

Most people’s workplace is too far from the beach for them. 

It’s had its day [...]  we need to move on, get the economy going, get people back to the workplace and stop this stupid culture of people thinking they can sit and home and just be paid for it. 

Ironically, as chairman of Pimlico Plumbers, Mullins’ Marbella getaway means he is presumably both sitting at home, and being paid for it.

The furlough scheme has helped preserve the jobs of nearly 10 million workers during the pandemic and is now being wound down.

Redundancies are already occurring as a result, with nearly 4,500 jobs gone in the first few days of August.

And Mullins’ comments were heavily criticised on social media.

One person debunked some of the inaccuracies in the businessman’s statements.

Someone else called his appearance a “perfect metaphor for late stage capitalism”.

Broadcaster Andrew Neill also made an appearance during the same segment, calling for civil servants to return to work from his mansion in St Tropez.

Who needs a high horse to get on when you have a villa on a European riviera?

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