Even those most fervent in their support for Brexit will find it hard to justify pigs and piglets being slaughtered and burned on farms rather than going into food production. A horrible image amongst punch ups over petrol shortages, rising fuel and food bills and, of course, the cut to the lifeline of Universal Credit was the backdrop to a cheering Tory party conference.
In a recent BBC interview, Pig farmer, Vicky Scott said: “It’s a complete and utter waste, it’s a disgrace…the Government knew how reliant we were on EU workers…and have allowed us to carry on rearing pigs, it’s a disgrace”. Meanwhile, The National Farmer’s Union Scotland President recently said the “The Government is in denial about Brexit”.
The pig crisis is yet another example of a UK Government that hasn’t listened, learned or acted. Instead of taking heed of all the warnings from industries, the Tories have been governing by slogan, “getting Brexit done, build back better, taking the tough decisions”.
We are all feeling the impact of the Brexit shambles, but it’s those already struggling or barely scraping by who are hit the hardest. Thanks to an ever-worsening supply chain crisis, prices are going up for all kinds of goods; reduced availability creates scarcity, which drives up costs.
Retailers in Inverness, like everywhere else, are already running their stores with empty or emptier shelves than in previous years as they prepare for Christmas. One local retailer nervously joked to me that, at this rate, by the time they get supplies, they’ll be going straight into the January sales.
Two years ago, the UK had 44,000 EU HGV drivers. They’re gone, as are the butchers, pickers, nurses, care workers and more. As job vacancies increase, there just aren’t local workers to fill them.
Prime Minister Boris Johnson says this is all part of a clever ruse to move to a “higher wage economy” and “boost productivity” – more sound bites with no substance. This is from the same Prime Minister that refuses to implement a Real Living Wage and continues to squeeze those on the lowest wages. The Tories have been in power for over 11 years – they have been the protectors of the gig economy and big business – nobody is fooled by the Prime Minister’s newest attempts at spin.
Higher prices, reduced household incomes, and staff shortages strangling productivity; it’s no wonder a new poll shows 75% of Scots think Boris Johnson is bad for our economy.
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