Energy prices in the UK are skyrocketing. Factories are in danger of closing before the end of the week, but the government is hesitant to intervene yet. Boris Johnson is now on holiday in southern Spain.
It is still difficult to say whether the factories are closing only temporarily. We are mainly talking about steel companies, such as British Steel and Tata. They are the most energy-hungry, and can no longer pay the bills in the short term. The glass makers are also energy intensive. They say it’s a matter of days, not weeks, for them to close their factories. And the problem is always that once the gates are closed, it’s very uncertain whether they’ll ever open again.
Meanwhile, the British government is doing little to resolve the situation. What they do is fight among themselves. The minister responsible for business would have asked the finance minister, who is supreme here, for help. However, that ministry denies that there is serious consultation between the two ministries taken place.
There is a pattern in this that is typical of the current British government. ‘Don’t lift the tasks that are too heavy and don’t make the necessary preparations. And when things get worse, there’s gonna enter panic mode. That’s what it feels like right now.
In the meantime, British consumers are not escaping rising energy prices, but fortunately they are still limited. There is a legal ceiling on the height of the increase for the British consumer. That ceiling is not there for business. The question now is whether the government is prepared to provide subsidies for business. Thousands of companies say they’re going to die otherwise.
The supply of supermarkets in the country is also not doing well. One in six Britons has not been able to access essential goods in the last two weeks. People are very concerned about shortages, especially around Christmas.