The Government acknowledges that it lacks “a magic wand” to solve supply and understaffing problems
British Finance Minister Rishi Sunak pointed out this Monday, in his speech to the Conservative Party’s annual conference, that there is no “magic wand” to solve the supply and understaffing problems that are affecting many sectors of the economy. the British economy. But the head of the Treasury predicted that “we are going to make the United Kingdom the most exciting place on the planet.”
The most acute problem is the supply of gasoline. To alleviate this, the Government has turned to the Army, which on Monday deployed two hundred soldiers, of which a hundred have been trained to drive tanker trucks. On the first day they participated in the fuel distribution, the number of drivers was “more than 65”, according to the BBC.
In general, petrol stations in hypermarkets function smoothly, even in the worst affected region, the south-east of England, where 25 million inhabitants are concentrated and which includes the capital, London. According to the association of retailers, 20% of its partners’ dispensers in the region have no fuel, 62% supply two octane ratings and 18% only one.
The bosses of the service stations believe that normality will return in a week
The owners of the sector estimate that the situation can normalize within a week, also in the Southeast. The distribution structure would be coordinating to serve the areas where there are more problems. But solving the reduction in the number of applications for licenses to drive trucks or the training of new drivers will take a matter of months.
The consensus among analysts is that the causes of logistics and personnel shortages in various sectors of the economy are diverse and, in the opinion of Helen Thomas, in the ‘Financial Times’ newspaper, “unravel the effects on the labor market of the progress of the EU and the shaking of the pandemic is almost impossible and ultimately irrelevant.
The end of ERTE
A positive effect can be expected in reducing the number of vacant positions in the coming days. Last day 1, the payment of the percentages of employee salaries -equivalent to the Spanish ERTE- ended and the number of beneficiaries in July was 1.6 million. Hoteliers believe that employees from the EU returned to their countries during the pandemic and may return now.
Supply chain shortcomings as the economy picks up are causing notable price increases, but the biggest impact on inflation will be the increases in electricity and gas bills this month and into the start of 2022. The protracted lack of wind in the North Sea is the local contribution to a problem on an international scale.
Last week the Bank of England signaled its predisposition to increase interest rates, after forecasting that inflation will reach 4.6%. The response of the financial markets, with a decline in the pound’s parity with the dollar and the euro, shows that equity funds are not expecting optimistic growth figures for the British economy.
Prime Minister Boris Johnson brags about wage growth as the start of a transition to a high-skilled, high-wage economy. But the National Statistics Office estimates that they have risen below inflation. He also underlines that the United Kingdom is the fastest growing among the Group of Seven countries; but it is the one that has lost the most GDP since the beginning of the pandemic.
The increase in energy prices is worrying in the country where the least percentage of the population, 15%, lives in flats. Thermal insulation of millions of individual houses will be costly and a concern for citizens when the government pushes for rapid replacement of gas boilers.
Frost threatens a unilateral breach of the Irish Protocol
The Secretary of State for relations with the European Union, David Frost, celebrated at the Conservative Party conference that “the long and bad dream of our membership of the European Union is over”, he affirmed that “a British renaissance” has begun and He confessed that he likes it when the UK “does things that amaze the world, things that make others look to us as an example to follow.”
There was less than a half entry into the auditorium where he gave his speech, at nine in the morning. The low-key diplomat, who was ambassador to Denmark at the peak of his career, sympathized with Boris Johnson when he was foreign minister. Now head of government, Johnson appointed him a negotiator with the EU and later a minister. He had to make him lord, because he has never been chosen.
He blamed supporters of the permanence of him agreeing to the Irish Protocol to the Treaty with the EU, for tying the hands of British negotiators. He reiterated that he will resort to Article 16 if Brussels does not negotiate the changes it wants. This article does not give the parties the right to unilaterally annul the protocol, but the ‘Daily Telegraph’ affirms that the Government has already prepared the legal text of a new relationship.