The Conservative party conference ended this week with a raucous attempt by the PM to dispel any connections with economic reality. The route chartered was met with rapturous applause from the party faithful as they collectively embraced his rolling of the UK’s economic dice.
For hospitality, the reality is all too stark, and departure from it not an option as businesses grapple with their very existence.
Commenting on Prime Minister’s speech, Matthew Lesh, Head of Research at the Adam Smith Institute, one of the world’s leading economic think tanks, was candid in his interpretation saying: “Boris’ rhetoric was bombastic but vacuous and economically illiterate.
“This was an agenda for levelling down to a centrally-planned, high-tax, low-productivity economy.
“Boris is hamstringing the labour market, raising taxes on a fragile recovery and shying away from meaningful planning reform.
“Hiking the minimum wage risks locking the most vulnerable out of a job while increasing inflationary pressures.
“Shortages and rising prices simply cannot be blustered away with rhetoric about migrants.
“It’s reprehensible and wrong to claim that migrants make us poorer. There is no evidence that immigration lowers living standards for native workers.
“This dogwhistle shows that this Government doesn’t care about pursuing evidence-based policies. We can both control migration and allow migrants to fill skill gaps.
“‘Levelling up’ so far consists of little more than listing regions and their local produce. Boris throws out impressive-sounding economic terms like ‘pareto improvements’ to hide the fact that he lacks policies to drive growth.”
He was not alone in his condemnation as countless business leaders reflected on the PM for lacking any recognition of the growing supply chain crisis.
The CBI’s Director General, Tony Danker who speaks for 190,000 businesses making up about one third of the UK’s private sector workforce, warned the PM: “Ambition on wages without action on investment and productivity is ultimately just a pathway for higher prices.” He added that the economy is at a “fragile moment” and urged government to work more closely with businesses. A call echoed by many business leaders.
Even previously staunch pro-Brexiteers are now alarmed with Next Chief Executive, Simon Wolfson, highlighting “real panic and despondency” in the hospitality sector due to 130,000 plus unfilled job vacancies.
As the months roll by and recovery seems ever more distant, the government seem set to follow an economic path of the PM’s own making, unrecognised by economists and business people.
Hospitality & Catering News: Government exit economic reality. – 9 October 2021 – Government exit economic reality.
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