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Visa plans are too late to stop the Christmas supply turmoil, insiders warn

Government scramble to ease visa requirements for thousands of heavy trucks driver It was too late to avoid the Christmas turmoil to combat the ongoing fuel shortage. Independent Have learned.

A two-day supply problem at petrol outposts across the country caused panic buying, causing long lines of drivers to meander from service stations.

Shell became the latest fuel operator to complain of shortages 24 hours after BP, Esso and Tesco reported the problem. Meanwhile, Asda has announced a £ 30 limit per customer.

In response to the crisis, senior government officials held an emergency meeting on Friday, attempting to resolve a wide range of supply chain problems and agreed to a short-term grant. visa For European drivers.

The move, which is a sign of a U-turn in a post-Brexit hardline approach to immigrants, will be announced shortly.It is understood that visa easing decisions can be extended to include: Worker Even in the food supply chain, sources said Independent..

Secretary of Agriculture George Eustice wants to include meat processing workers in contracts that grant up to 30,000 6-month visas to those who choose and package fruits. vegetable, Government figures said.

The Senior Conservative Party said this was “just the beginning” of increased pressure to ease the pinch point of the economy as a whole by changing visa requirements. “Not this [likely to be] It was completed and dusted by Christmas, “they added.

Separately, another senior government official said the visa change was not enough to solve supply chain problems by Christmas.

“Even if the minister pays close attention, some problems cannot be resolved very quickly,” sources said. “This is an example of such a problem, and decisions about how to deal with the problem were made much later in the day.”

According to the same senior Tories quoted above, no issue 10 has revealed that there is “a desire to show that the government is throwing kitchen sinks due to supply disruptions.”

Pressure increased after photos of queues and empty petrol pumps were widely shared on social media. After admitting that the supplier had stopped the fuel (which itself is not in short supply) from reaching the pump due to a shortage of carriers.

According to Esso and BP, the number of gas stations that had to be closed was “small,” but there were hundreds shortages of certain grades of fuel.

After a panic buy on Friday, a Shell spokeswoman said the company was “adjusting its delivery schedule” in response to a large queue at some gas stations.

During this afternoon’s crunch meeting, some cabinet immigrant hardliners were forced to withdraw their opposition to visa changes. Commerce Minister Kwasi Kwaten and Interior Minister Priti Patel are alleged to have made a U-turn on the issue in the face of increasing pressure following reports of supply chain disruptions.

However, despite visa changes, there is growing concern that ministers are still underestimating the scale of the matter. Logistics industry leaders said that even if visa rules were relaxed, the problem would likely be exacerbated at Christmas.

Steve Granite, CEO of Abbey Logistics, which specializes in fuel delivery, said: He accused supermarkets of “igniting” by offering uncompetitive salary increases and bonuses to fuel companies.

Gasoline tank truck drivers are usually paid more than truck drivers who carry non-hazardous luggage, but Granite says even higher-paying drivers are attracted to the significant salary increases offered by supermarkets. Said.

Industry sources report seeing a truck driver ad offering £ 35 per hour with a 45-hour weekly warranty and only day shifts. The fee is equivalent to over £ 70,000 per year.

“We don’t have enough drivers to train and test drivers fast enough. People are jumping from work to work, and supermarkets make things even better by providing incentives to grab headlines. It’s getting worse, “Granite said.

“But it doesn’t make sense if there is no supply chain behind the supermarket. What does it mean to have all the drivers if you can’t deliver the ingredients to the company that sells the grocery store?”

Conservative Rep. Craig Mackinlay welcomed the idea of ​​relaxing visa rules to mitigate the crisis and said he didn’t think Tory’s backbenchers would oppose it.

The chair of the All-Party Parliamentary Group for Drivers and Carriers said: I don’t want people from the EU. Not at all. ”

MP said it hopes more young people will become HGV drivers with salary increases in this sector. “We need to make this job more attractive … but you can’t just turn on the driver supply overnight.”

While industry groups welcomed this step, they agreed that solving the driver shortage challenge required more than abandoning visa requirements. Poor working conditions and an aging workforce are reducing the number of HGV drivers not only throughout Germany, but also in other EU member states and the United States.

The UK has also introduced tax law changes aimed at bridging the tax gap between paid workers and self-employed people. According to employers in these sectors, rule updates were a lot of labor that could normally have been engaged by agents or third parties to provide services such as fruit picking and heavy truck driving. Had a blow to the person.

A government spokesperson said: “We carefully monitor labor supply and work with sector leaders to understand how to best mitigate certain pinch points. Similar challenges are faced by other countries around the world. ..

“We want employers to make long-term investments in the UK’s domestic workforce rather than relying on foreign workforce. Our work plans are retrained by people across the country. And to help you develop new skills and get back to work.

“The government encourages all sectors to create more attractive jobs for UK domestic workers by providing training, career options, wage increases and investment.”

Visa plans are too late to stop the Christmas supply turmoil, insiders warn

Source link Visa plans are too late to stop the Christmas supply turmoil, insiders warn

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