Mon. Oct 18th, 2021

Letter updates

Hearing that government ministers repeatedly welcome higher wages for HGV drivers does not completely convince me (‘Temporary truck driver visas are a sign of government failure’, Opinion, 28 September). It may cause a dull spirit in the “blue wall”, but higher wages without improved productivity equate to price increases. Inflation will lead to higher salaries, resulting in more inflation. We all know where it ends.

Then there are sectors such as hospitality, care, cleaning and fruit picking, where most Britons do not want to work regardless of pay.

I doubt the supply of 5000 visas for a limited time will attract many HGV drivers to the UK in the short term — the shortcomings in the policy are too obvious to mention.

Nor will it get better for a country with an aging, shrinking workforce. Did anyone up there think about it?

Phillip Oppenheim
Former Secretary of State for the Treasury, 1996-97, London SW3, United Kingdom

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