The comments made by Ed Miliband, the Shadow Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy on 3 September 2021.
The Government must get a grip on the supply chain crisis facing our economy. While they act as if the problem will solve itself, businesses are telling government these problems are only going to grow. The serious disruption and added costs risk harming our recovery and passing costs to consumers.
Ministers have a habit of ignoring warnings and shifting the burden of blame to businesses. But it is their undermining of our country’s skills training system, failure to deliver on their promise to cut barriers facing businesses and belief in an insecure labour market with poor terms and conditions that has created this crisis.
The long-term problems in the HGV sector will not be solved by making drivers work longer hours but by training workers and improving their terms and conditions. What we are seeing across our economy should be a wake-up call to government that insecurity and low pay cannot build the high performing economy we need.
It’s time for the Prime Minister to take this situation seriously and appoint a minister to work across government and come up with a clear plan with businesses and unions to improve wages and conditions in key sectors. Any responsible government would act to sort out the problems firms are facing. This is what Britain’s businesses, workers and consumers have a right to expect.