Christmas shortages are expected to seriously affect people’s lives. Shortages of certain essentials have caused the citizens of this country to rush to the shops and panic buy, especially before Christmas.
The Influx of People to Buy Essentials
According to a new survey conducted in the UK, about one-sixth of adults in the country have not been able to buy their essential food items for the past two weeks, due to the cost of living and fuel shortages in the country. Following the publication of the survey, stores saw an influx of shoppers to buy their essentials, including toilet paper.
Christmas shortages are now a major concern in the UK, with experts predicting that people will be hampered by the current trend over Christmas. In a study by the Office for National Statistics (ONS), 17% of British adults said the essential foods they wanted were not available, while a quarter of adults said they had a similar problem with non-essential foods.
Rising Concerns About Food Shortages at Christmas
A survey of 1,000 people by retail magazine The Grocer found that two-thirds of Britons are worried or very concerned about the possibility of food and drink shortages at Christmas, and experts have asked families to pre-purchase their Christmas supplies and store them in the freezer. They predict that Christmas shortages will definitely happen, so they have suggested that people save their site beforehand. Concerns have been raised about empty store shelves on New Year’s Eve.
Christmas Food Challenges
The UK is currently facing a number of challenges. Supply chain problems caused by a shortage of HGV drivers, along with rising inflation, fuel prices, fuel shortages in London and the South East, as well as rising taxes, have left millions of British citizens dissatisfied. Providing citizens with their daily requirements has become one of UK’s challenges in the weeks leading up to Christmas, but British PM Boris Johnson insists it is not up to the government to come in and solve the problems. Normally, more than 15,000 truck drivers are needed to meet the needs of the people for the Christmas period, and the government should take the problem of shortages over the festive season more seriously and find a solution.
Rising Criticism of Boris Johnson’s Government
Opponents of Boris Johnson say he has no plans to address Christmas shortages. Jim McMahon, UK’s Shadow Transport Secretary, has described the lorry driver shortage as a “rapidly worsening crisis” in a statement, adding that it needed urgent government action on a priority basis and that the accountability for the repercussions will lie at the Conservatives’ door. Experts in the UK industry have warned that rising fuel prices have left factories a few days behind schedule.
Ex-Conservative Minister Lord Heseltine has warned that the British economy will be in dire straits this winter and that Christmas shortages are serious and will happen. On a typical day, large chain stores in the UK are able to supply 98.5% of all their products at any one time, but now this has fallen to below 90% for some products in particular; in the case of soft drinks, this has dropped to 95%. Hundreds of thousands of Britons, on the other hand, have already applied for Christmas deliveries.
Goods Shortages have Also Reached Pharmaceuticals
Amid worries about Christmas shortages in the coming months and an influx of people shopping, the shelves in the UK have become empty. On the other hand, one in seven Britons says they are unable to buy the fuel they need at petrol stations. Sixty percent of Britons also said that their shopping in recent days has been a different experience from the past. 43% said there was less variety in stores these days and 14% said they had to go to more stores to find what they wanted.
Shortages in the UK are not limited to food and drinks, with 13% of Britons saying they spent more time buying their prescriptions and 4% saying they had to go to more pharmacies to find their medicines. Supermarkets are not the only place where there is a shortage.
Meanwhile, footballer Marcus Rashford said some of the food banks he works with have been experiencing shortages too. He said “They’re struggling to do what they love doing because there’s a shortage of food and of course it’s something that we’re going to have to find an answer to, and quickly as well because you know people are out there and they need the meals, especially going into winter.”
Brexit and the Prevalence of Covid-19 are at the Roots of UK’s Problems
Supply chain problems and concerns about rising inflation in the UK have arisen due to the country’s exit from the EU and the Covid-19 pandemic. The supply chain – from pork, poultry and petrol to medicines and milk – has come under severe pressure due to labour shortages following UK’s exit from the EU and the Covid-19 crisis. Panic fuel buying amid a shortage of truck drivers in recent weeks has created chaotic scenes across major British cities with long queues at petrol stations. Fights broke out at some stations and other stored fuel in water bottles.
UK Government Officials’ Projection of the Crisis
UK officials have repeatedly denied the link between the fuel crisis and Brexit, citing a shortage of truck drivers as a global problem, while UK’s other European neighbors do not experience long queues at petrol stations. “The lack of HGV drivers is not a UK issue, it’s an issue across Europe and beyond,” PM Boris Johnson’s finance minister, Rishi Sunak, said. “I want people to know that we are doing everything we can to mitigate some of those challenges where we can make a difference.”
Earlier, the British military used its troops to transport fuel tankers to petrol stations across the UK to prevent the escalation of the crisis in the country. The UK left the EU earlier this year, barring drivers from EU member states from joining transport companies. The UK government has now said it will issue temporary visas to 5,000 foreign drivers to combat driver shortages, a move it had previously rejected. UK’s reckless and unplanned withdrawal from the EU has left the country in a state of crisis.
The British have now realised their mistake, and many of them are calling for UK to rejoin the EU to enjoy its benefits, a demand that the UK government opposes and resists. This has angered people in Boris Johnson’s cabinet, leading them to believe that the government will not take action to improve their livelihoods and economy. Boris Johnson’s inefficiency to address Christmas shortages has raised concerns among the British and economists. They say it is unclear what will happen to us in the next few months.