Manchester / London (dpa) – Spilled milk, pumped empty gas stations, pigs that are being killed for the garbage can: Back from the jubilant party congress bubble, British Prime Minister Boris Johnson are catching up with his country’s problems with full force.
For example the enormous supply bottlenecks and the worsening labor shortage.
«We want to pay our people as much as possible, but companies are not an endless sponge that can absorb an infinite number of costs», The head of the Iceland supermarket chain, Richard Walker, complained in the Times on Thursday. Johnson had made a major speech the day before, calling on business to invest in higher wages and better conditions for the British workforce.
“The economy is portrayed as a bogeyman, but the problem is much bigger,” said Walker, who now has doubts that the Tories are really still the party of the entrepreneurs. There would be several cost increases for companies in the next year: “We will have higher energy prices, more truck drivers will have to pay and more packaging costs.” That couldn’t be done all at once.
Craig Beaumont of the Federation of Small Businesses, which represents smaller British companies as an association, also told Times Radio that people no longer feel comfortable with the Tories considered. At the moment the opposition Labor Party is the only one with concrete offers for small businesses.
Drivers are still missing
Between Manchester, where Johnson was celebrated by the party base, and its headquarters on London’s Downing Street are many of the gas stations affected by delivery bottlenecks. Many are still left on dry land because there are no drivers for tank trucks. Long queues in front of petrol pumps, from which gasoline and diesel were still flowing, even dominated the headlines internationally.
But on the island there are already further consequences of the fact that truck drivers are absent everywhere. The broadcaster Sky News reports on an English farmer who had to throw away liters of milk in the past two months 40. 000 because no one came to pick it up.
Meat farmers have started killing pigs for the garbage can because no one can bring them to the slaughterhouse. Hundreds of healthy animals have been culled – thousands more could follow, according to the National Pig Association. And the food company Nestlé cannot guarantee that the Quality Street Christmas sweets will be available as usual in the next few weeks.
With short-term visas for up to 5000 foreign drivers until February The Johnson administration is currently trying to at least save Christmas. So far, however, the influx has been manageable: By the beginning of the week, only 127 applicants had registered for the particularly urgently needed visas for tanker truck drivers.
However, it would not be “uncontrolled immigration” give more, stressed Johnson in his speech. With the refusal to relax the tightened immigration rules after Brexit, he goes into confrontation with the economy. How the British are now to become the urgently needed skilled workers in many industries, who so far often came from Eastern Europe, he left open.