Christmas ‘nightmare’ prediction as Rishi Sunak warns shortages could last ‘for months’

The Chancellor could not make any guarantees about Christmas being unaffected, adding that the shortages ‘are very real’

Christmas is set to be a ‘nightmare’ according to retail analysts, due to shortages which the Chancellor has said could ‘last for months’.

The HGV driver shortage and labour supply issues will have a major impact on the availability of turkeys, and beer could also be affected.

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At a glance: 5 key points

  • Rishi Sunak has said the government is “determined to do what we can” to mitigate the impact of the ongoing fuel supply crisis and supply chain issues, but warned that “the shortages are very real”
  • Speaking to the Daily Mail, Sunak said he could make no guarantees about Christmas being unaffected by the issues, but that the UK could still think about the future with “a renewed sense of confidence and optimism”
  • A retail analyst has warned that labour supply issues and the HGV driver shortage will lead to a ‘nightmare’ Christmas, with many consumer goods in short supply
  • Clive Black of Shore Capital also predicted that beer and carbonated soft drinks could be in ‘short supply’ due to CO2 shortages
  • The Government has claimed that demand for fuel has stabilised and there is now more being delivered than sold, but that some parts of the country still face challenges

What’s been said?

Speaking to the Daily Mail, Rishi Sunak said millions of families are facing a “challenging” winter and that current supply issues could continue for months.

He said: “These shortages are very real. We're seeing real disruptions in supply chains in different sectors, not just here but around the world.

“We are determined to do what we can to try to mitigate as much of this as we can.”

Speaking to the Mirror, Retail analyst Clive Black of Shore Capital said: “I expect Christmas will be a nightmare. Shortages of labour have meant businesses have not laid down the same number of turkeys or planted the same number of crops.

“The HGV driver shortage is compounding the problem. A lot of people eating on Christmas Day will be asking, ‘What the hell is this?

“Equally if the CO2 problem does not settle, expect beer and carbonated soft drinks to be in short supply – and a lot more expensive.”

Shadow Business Secretary Ed Miliband said: “It is Conservative complacency that has led to the fuel crisis, energy costs crisis, and supply chain crisis our country is experiencing, with ministers ignoring warnings from businesses and failing to plan ahead.”