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6 Oct, 2021 12:22

UK’s Johnson says Britain embarking on new economic direction as nation hit by rising fuel prices and labour shortages

UK’s Johnson says Britain embarking on new economic direction as nation hit by rising fuel prices and labour shortages

The British prime minister has vowed to take the UK economy in a new direction, defined by a movement towards “high wages and high skills” and away from cheap imported labour, amid fuel challenges and a shortage of workers.

On Wednesday, speaking to the Conservative faithful, Prime Minister Boris Johnson said his government would press on with tackling “long term structural weaknesses” in the economy. 

“We’re not going back to the same old broken model, with low wages, low growth, low skills and low productivity – all of it enabled, and assisted by uncontrolled immigration,” Johnson stated, referencing the Britain’s exit from the EU and its freedom of movement.

The prime minister contended it was a “long overdue” change of direction and the economy had to shift away from its reliance on cheap imported labour. 

Also on rt.com Millions of Britons wake up £1,040-a-year poorer as ‘temporary’ Universal Credit uplift removed, while UK economy begs for workers

Johnson claimed controlled immigration was the answer, allowing smaller numbers of talented people to come to the UK, “but not to use immigration as an excuse for failure to invest in people, in skills, and in the equipment, the facilities and machinery ... they need to do their jobs.”

The PM contended that regional inequality was still holding the country back and that the government would now push on with levelling up Britain.

Johnson’s comments come as the government’s temporary Universal Credit uplift ended on Wednesday. The scheme, which ran throughout the pandemic, gave Britons on social welfare an extra £20 a week. Critics have said hundreds of thousands will be pushed into poverty without the money.

Britain has suffered from a number of economic challenges in recent weeks, including soaring gas prices, labour shortages including truck drivers and butchers, and fuel shortages.

Despite the issues, Britain is expected to be the fastest growing G7 nation in 2021. 

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