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Yesterday morning, the army was going to be brought in.  By lunchtime it wasn't.  By evening it was on again.

 

Words fail me.  This morning early reports are that things are as bad as ever.  It's easy to blame people 'panic buying' but as a reporter just commented everyone queuing is blaming people panic buying, but they're never the ones doing it!  It's always someone else.

 

To be fair, you can't blame people for wanting to keep their tanks full when they're using, quite possibly, 20 litres a day just to get to work and back and have no certainty that they can fill up again.   I'm not bothered for myself - we have very few critically essential journeys - but others do, and it's high time this was resolved effectively before essential services grind to a halt.

 

 

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51 minutes ago, Harry Peterson said:

Yesterday morning, the army was going to be brought in.  By lunchtime it wasn't.  By evening it was on again.

 

Words fail me.  This morning early reports are that things are as bad as ever.  It's easy to blame people 'panic buying' but as a reporter just commented everyone queuing is blaming people panic buying, but they're never the ones doing it!  It's always someone else.

 

To be fair, you can't blame people for wanting to keep their tanks full when they're using, quite possibly, 20 litres a day just to get to work and back and have no certainty that they can fill up again.   I'm not bothered for myself - we have very few critically essential journeys - but others do, and it's high time this was resolved effectively before essential services grind to a halt.

 

 

It’s a complete mess isn’t it…….

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10 hours ago, Adawn47 said:

What was wrong with the old system? Many years ago the unemployed would trot down to the 'Labour Exchange' and sign on. There was no picking and choosing, you were found a job and took it, or you lost your dole money. If that system were in place today there would be far less unemployed and no need to rely on migrant workers.  Both Frank and myself had to take low paid menial jobs when we were first married, just to make ends meet. There's too much molly-coddling imho.

Avril

That system is still in place Avril. Officers in the jobcentre can and regularly do still sanction and reduce benefits for refusal of suitable employment etc. The figures make interesting reading.

 

Unemployment is low at the moment and some is pure churn, people on benefits very short term between jobs. At the other end of the spectrum you have the very long term unemployed many of whom were moved off ill health / disability benefits when UC was introduced and they are not fit to do heavy physical work (some are actually not fit for any type of work).

 

Another issue is the “economic inactivity” figure which has increased, Andy touched on that. People of working age (which is now up to age 67) who are not in work but also not claiming any sort of benefits. Older workers who gave up work or were pushed out due to the covid situation and are now living on savings / partners wage until their pension is paid. Employers would have to make a job very attractive to motivate this group back into the workforce, these are folks who have usually worked and paid tax for many decades.
 

We have a demographic timebomb in this country, older workers retiring and fewer young people to fill the gaps.

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22 minutes ago, Eglesbrech said:

That system is still in place Avril. Officers in the jobcentre can and regularly do still sanction and reduce benefits for refusal of suitable employment etc. The figures make interesting reading.

 

Unemployment is low at the moment and some is pure churn, people on benefits very short term between jobs. At the other end of the spectrum you have the very long term unemployed many of whom were moved off ill health / disability benefits when UC was introduced and they are not fit to do heavy physical work (some are actually not fit for any type of work).

 

Another issue is the “economic inactivity” figure which has increased, Andy touched on that. People of working age (which is now up to age 67) who are not in work but also not claiming any sort of benefits. Older workers who gave up work or were pushed out due to the covid situation and are now living on savings / partners wage until their pension is paid. Employers would have to make a job very attractive to motivate this group back into the workforce, these are folks who have usually worked and paid tax for many decades.
 

We have a demographic timebomb in this country, older workers retiring and fewer young people to fill the gaps.

Excellent post.

 

I should think a lot of people on this board, myself included, are in the economically inactive category, due to retiring early on our excellent final salary pensions. I don’t think any of us would seriously entertain re-entering the employment market to drive an HGV lorry or process meat in a factory.

 

Also, I’ve seen a lot of comment online about forcing people into jobs that are entirely unsuitable for them. I’m not sure how people are expected to work away from home as an HGV driver when they have got young children at home to care for, or to work in the agricultural sector when they have no means of transport to actually get to a job in the countryside. 
 

you are right about the demographic timebomb. The baby boom generation is now retiring, and life expectancy has increased. So we have an increasing elderly population and a smaller working population. We need migrant workers to pick up the slack, and to pay their taxes and NI, so that the state pensions for the burgeoning elderly population can be paid.

 

 

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1 hour ago, Harry Peterson said:

Yesterday morning, the army was going to be brought in.  By lunchtime it wasn't.  By evening it was on again.

 

Words fail me.  This morning early reports are that things are as bad as ever.  It's easy to blame people 'panic buying' but as a reporter just commented everyone queuing is blaming people panic buying, but they're never the ones doing it!  It's always someone else.

 

To be fair, you can't blame people for wanting to keep their tanks full when they're using, quite possibly, 20 litres a day just to get to work and back and have no certainty that they can fill up again.   I'm not bothered for myself - we have very few critically essential journeys - but others do, and it's high time this was resolved effectively before essential services grind to a halt.

 

 

When my husband worked in south London, he shared the journey to work with 2 other co-workers. When it was his driving week, he had to fill up with petrol three times a week. That was what he did as normal, no panic about it!
 

I can understand people’s response to the current situation. We’ve been seeing supply chain problems for months in the shops, so people know these aren’t ‘normal times’, so they had good reason to get spooked if they need petrol to go about their daily lives. 

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27 minutes ago, Dermotsgirl said:

 

you are right about the demographic timebomb. The baby boom generation is now retiring, and life expectancy has increased. So we have an increasing elderly population and a smaller working population. We need migrant workers to pick up the slack, and to pay their taxes and NI, so that the state pensions for the burgeoning elderly population can be paid.

 

 

The demographic time bomb is certainly of major concern, however bringing in migrants with large families to do the low paid work is unlikely to be a long term fix. The net tax contribution of the bottom 20% of taxpayers, after taking into accunt their welfare, health and educational needs, is likely to be minuscule or even negative. 

What we need is a massive improvement in our productivity levels across all jobs, so that reasonable wages can be paid to everyone. Both major parties talk about improving this, but neither do anything about it once in power.

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1 minute ago, terrierjohn said:

The demographic time bomb is certainly of major concern, however bringing in migrants with large families to do the low paid work is unlikely to be a long term fix. The net tax contribution of the bottom 20% of taxpayers, after taking into accunt their welfare, health and educational needs, is likely to be minuscule or even negative. 

What we need is a massive improvement in our productivity levels across all jobs, so that reasonable wages can be paid to everyone. Both major parties talk about improving this, but neither do anything about it once in power.

Long term fix? With crops rotting in the fields, shortages of food and large numbers of other things, no fuel to be had, and desperate shortages of care workers, we need a fix NOW. We can worry about the long term when the crisis is over!

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1 hour ago, Dermotsgirl said:

Excellent post.

 

I should think a lot of people on this board, myself included, are in the economically inactive category, due to retiring early on our excellent final salary pensions. I don’t think any of us would seriously entertain re-entering the employment market to drive an HGV lorry or process meat in a factory.

 

Also, I’ve seen a lot of comment online about forcing people into jobs that are entirely unsuitable for them. I’m not sure how people are expected to work away from home as an HGV driver when they have got young children at home to care for, or to work in the agricultural sector when they have no means of transport to actually get to a job in the countryside. 
 

you are right about the demographic timebomb. The baby boom generation is now retiring, and life expectancy has increased. So we have an increasing elderly population and a smaller working population. We need migrant workers to pick up the slack, and to pay their taxes and NI, so that the state pensions for the burgeoning elderly population can be paid.

 

 

When I was a kid, Dad was an HGV driver.  Went to work early Monday, sometimes Sunday, and didn't get home till Friday evening.  Sometimes away longer if he was on the Belfast run or had to go to Europe.  Mum was a full-time teacher.  It has been and can be done...

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1 hour ago, terrierjohn said:

The demographic time bomb is certainly of major concern, however bringing in migrants with large families to do the low paid work is unlikely to be a long term fix. The net tax contribution of the bottom 20% of taxpayers, after taking into accunt their welfare, health and educational needs, is likely to be minuscule or even negative. 

What we need is a massive improvement in our productivity levels across all jobs, so that reasonable wages can be paid to everyone. Both major parties talk about improving this, but neither do anything about it once in power.

Bringing in migrants with large families? Some may have large families but temporary visas currently being discussed will only be given to those who come here to work, not their families. Presumably any temporary workers who come here will then be criticised for sending their wages home to their families. As for increasing productivity levels, this may be possible in some sectors but the care sector which is appallingly paid, is not one of these, and certainly not amongst those working with the elderly and needy in care homes or in-home carers. 
I agree that reasonable wages should be paid to everyone but what is reasonable? The figure of £15 per hour has been raised this morning but all that will do is increase pressure from those already paid that figure or higher to be paid more to maintain differentials between them and perceived ‘lower skilled workers’. 

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What always amazes me about these discussions is that when you actually look at the sort of person who wants to come to the UK, he or she is frequently well educated, well motivated, and determined to succeed. Past waves of immigration over the centuries have consistently brought wealth to the nation.

 

The rhetoric constantly pushed out by certain newspapers is damaging, corrosive, biased and just plain wrong. Some may come for benefits, as they always put it, but that’s very much the minority.

 

 It’s often our own indigenous workers who simply won’t work, and that’s precisely why we have problems with some of the jobs we can’t fill.

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Got our negative PCR emailed today.Farcical,you swab yourself at home and then drop it off to them,86 quid.Proves it's just money for the cronies and open to fraudulent results.

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2 hours ago, terrierjohn said:

The demographic time bomb is certainly of major concern, however bringing in migrants with large families to do the low paid work is unlikely to be a long term fix. The net tax contribution of the bottom 20% of taxpayers, after taking into accunt their welfare, health and educational needs, is likely to be minuscule or even negative. 

What we need is a massive improvement in our productivity levels across all jobs, so that reasonable wages can be paid to everyone. Both major parties talk about improving this, but neither do anything about it once in power.

Is there any evidence that the migrants who decide to come to work in this country have large families that they bring with them? 
 

That sounds like something the Daily Mail says to rile up it’s readership 

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2 hours ago, Son of Anarchy said:

When I was a kid, Dad was an HGV driver.  Went to work early Monday, sometimes Sunday, and didn't get home till Friday evening.  Sometimes away longer if he was on the Belfast run or had to go to Europe.  Mum was a full-time teacher.  It has been and can be done...

That’s a perfect illustration of what I was saying. Your parents had the choice to find work that fitted around their family life. If people are to be forced into available jobs, they lose that choice. It’s wouldn’t have worked for your parents if they had both been forced to work as HGV drivers ( or any other job where they both worked away from home / in the school holiday) 

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2 hours ago, pete14 said:

The figure of £15 per hour has been raised this morning but all that will do is increase pressure from those already paid that figure or higher to be paid more to maintain differentials between them and perceived ‘lower skilled workers

That ship has already sailed. When the wages Councils were replaced in the mid 80s most of the differentials were lost. There used to be a definite order for who got paid what, the more skilled the higher the pay (obviously). Wages were depressed because of the high levels of unemployment back then - remember the one in ten. People took a job at any price as they were desperate.
 

The introduction of the minimum wage in the 90s meant that many jobs at the lower end of the pay scales with any remaining differential all got lumped together on the minimum and that has continued more or less ever since. The minimum wage actually did some people no favours.
 

The only time pay goes up is when employers struggle to recruit and until recently it has been mainly an employers market which is why zero hours contracts etc proliferated.

 

Throwing money at some jobs will only move the problem to another sector as workers move for the better salary and as you rightly point out annoy those with greater skills as the differentials fall even further.

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Did all of the petrol tanker drivers disappear over night, or did some clown talk about a petrol shortage that didn't really exist , causing folk to fill up their tanks all at the same time?Sales 300% above normal causes a shortage. Same number of drivers that there were a few weeks ago. No milk at Morrisons, but chill cabinets full at the co-op. The fuel shortage is due to everyone filling up at the same time. Gangmasters sounds like something that happens in Sicily, not leafy Lincolnshire. 

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6 minutes ago, zap99 said:

Did all of the petrol tanker drivers disappear over night, or did some clown talk about a petrol shortage that didn't really exist , causing folk to fill up their tanks all at the same time?Sales 300% above normal causes a shortage. Same number of drivers that there were a few weeks ago. No milk at Morrisons, but chill cabinets full at the co-op. The fuel shortage is due to everyone filling up at the same time. Gangmasters sounds like something that happens in Sicily, not leafy Lincolnshire. 

 

The original announcement or rumoured leaked memo about a small number of BP and esso garages being affected, was immediately over dramatically reported by the media which made it sound like it was a major general shortage. 

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7 minutes ago, zap99 said:

Gangmasters sounds like something that happens in Sicily, not leafy Lincolnshire. 

Gangmasters have operated here for probably a couple of centuries.  These days though they have to be licensed by the Gangmaster and Labour Abuse Authority

 

What we do - Regulation - Licensing scheme - Board - GLAA 

 

I find it interesting that the words Labour Abuse Authority are used in the same sentence as Gangmaster.

 

 

 

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5 minutes ago, Son of Anarchy said:

Gangmasters have operated here for probably a couple of centuries.  These days though they have to be licensed by the Gangmaster and Labour Abuse Authority

 

What we do - Regulation - Licensing scheme - Board - GLAA 

 

I find it interesting that the words Labour Abuse Authority are used in the same sentence as Gangmaster.

 

 

 

If all the crops are rotting in the fields, perhaps the system needs review.

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5 hours ago, terrierjohn said:

What we need is a massive improvement in our productivity levels across all jobs, so that reasonable wages can be paid to everyone. Both major parties talk about improving this, but neither do anything about it once in power.

I agree that our productivity levels in the U.K. are pretty low is some areas of work when compared to other country’s and could certainly do with improvement. That might help out some industries.


The problem is that some of the areas of the greatest shortage can’t be helped in this way. Take care work as an example, if you need to feed a patient that can’t be done any quicker than it can be done, or assisted dressing etc.

 

Its the same in hospitality. One server can only wait on so many customers, one housekeeper clean so many rooms.

 

Thats probably why we have shortages of workers in the more labour intensive jobs that can’t be automated or productivity increased in any meaningful way.

 

There is an element of cognitive dissonance in all of this. Some people did not want to wait tables or work in care homes, nor did they want their children and grandchildren doing these jobs…. But they also didn’t want others to take them. So who is supposed to.

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1 hour ago, Splice the mainbrace said:

 

The original announcement or rumoured leaked memo about a small number of BP and esso garages being affected, was immediately over dramatically reported by the media which made it sound like it was a major general shortage. 

A report on LBC just now from a large filling station in Chiswick. A dozen cars in the queue and 2 tankers waiting to unload. It may be that Grant Shapps was right after all. No real shortage, just a vast spike in demand. Plenty of carrots in the shop just now.🤣

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6 hours ago, brian1 said:

OMG,I glad I retired at just over 60.Even then I was carrying 50kg+ radiators and boilers up 5 floors sometimes.How do they expect 67 year olds to do that.

 Frank retired at 65 and was a joiner/carpenter making bars and and service stations/areas for hotels etc. His work area was up a flight of stairs, and he'd have to carry the wood up on his shoulders. There's no way he could do that now, not when you factor in arthritis etc. Office and banking type jobs yes, but not manual.

Hmm, thinking about it now though🤫, they would have to claim sick pay instead. Cheaper than a pension😏

Sis

 

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