Larger suppliers, including Centrica owned-British Gas, have agreed to take on hundreds of thousands of marooned customers, but expect the cost of doing so to be recouped in a mechanism that Ofgem described as “tried and tested” but which bigger companies say is not designed for the mass failures we are now seeing.
That’s because the new immigration system that came in after Brexit was all about saying to companies: “You can’t rely on cheap foreign labour any more, you’ve got to focus on the workforce in this country, you’ve got to train them, you’ve got to pay them better wages.”
“The factors pressuring supply chains and inflation include port delays, container shortages, Covid disruptions, shortages on various components, raw materials and ingredients, labour cost pressures and truck and driver shortages,” said Costco’s chief financial officer, Richard Galanti.
For Huawei’s boss, the issue has been deeply personal, with his daughter being held, but for the whole of China it has also turned into a major cause of anger. It has also poisoned relations between China and Canada, with the latter believing two of its citizens, Michael Kovrig and Michael Spavor, have been held as pawns in the negotiations.
An Avro customer in a household using a typical amount of gas and electricity, who got a fixed rate deal in August, would have been paying £1,087 a year, according to price comparison site Uswitch. In March, they could have got a deal costing £920 a year.
“On the back of concerns about rising prices for fuel and food, the growth in headline inflation, tax hikes, empty shelves and the end of the furlough scheme, September sees consumers slamming on the brakes as those already in economic hardship anticipate a potential cost of living crisis,” said GfK’s Joe Staton.