Families will face a crunch this Christmas as there is no “magic wand” to fix the delivery crisis, Rishi Sunak has warned.
The chancellor forced Brits to delay receiving their turkeys because there was a shortage of truck drivers to supply supermarkets.
His speech today at a Tory party convention comes as delivery disasters wreak havoc at shops and petrol stations.
Mr Sunak insisted that ministers were working round the clock to resolve the chaos, but it was clear that the problems would escalate during the festive season.
He told BBC Radio 4, “We are seeing supply disruptions not only here but in many different places, and there are things we can try and reduce, and we are.
“But we can’t wave the magic wand. I can’t do anything about a country in Asia’s decision to close the port because of the coronavirus outbreak.
“But rest assured that we are doing everything within our control to try and mitigate some of these challenges.”
The military was behind the wheel of the HGV this morning as the military was deployed to help fix the crisis.
The 200 soldiers and women will add to the 5,000 temporary visas for foreign truck drivers recruited to address the shortage of HGV drivers.
Boris Johnson is reluctant to hire more foreign workers to address the shortage and supports persuading Britons to get behind the wheel for better pay.
He said yesterday: “The way forward for our country is not simply pulling the big lever marked by uncontrolled immigration.”
The PM vowed not to return to the “old, failed model” of low pay for these jobs.
Mr Johnson acknowledged he knew a driver crisis was brewing “long before June” and pointed to a global shortage of truckers
Mr Sunak will later address the Tory loyalist at the party’s convention in Manchester where he will officially announce a £500m jobs package.
He will also try to quell the party’s nervousness about a tax hike to pay for unprecedented public spending.