One in six shoppers unable to buy essentials, ONS finds

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One in six Britons have been unable to buy essential food in the past two weeks as Brexit- and coronavirus-linked supply chain problems mount, figures show.

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According to an analysis by the Office for National Statistics (ONS), about one-fourth did not get anything non-essential.

Statisticians who surveyed 3,326 adults between September 22 and October 3 said that 17 percent found essential foods unavailable, rising to 23 percent of those who shopped for non-essential products.


Only 57 per cent of the respondents said that everything they wanted was available to buy, while 43 per cent found less variety and 14 per cent were forced to go to more shops than usual to complete their inventory. Had to be

The ONS found that shoppers also had mixed luck in locating replacements for missing items: one-fifth found alternative products but another fifth did not.

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Even prescription prescriptions have been affected, with 13 percent of adults surveyed having to wait longer at pharmacies.

The figures after weeks of shortages also affect the country’s motorists. Experts found that one in seven people surveyed were unable to buy fuel, reflecting recent images of long queues outside petrol stations. The problem was partly caused by Brexit, ministers have acknowledged.

Days after the government was forced to draft in the military to help with petrol distribution, Grant Shapps has now said that “we are right at the tail end” of the fuel crisis. The problems are gone for most of the country, he told Sky News, with London and the southeast the only areas where they persist.

The transport secretary said that in the last one week, around 3,500 people have applied for temporary HGV licences.

The winter crisis facing Britain came into focus as the ONS published its figures. Schools have been told to stockpile canned food in anticipation of a shortage, while food banks are struggling to get enough items to hand out to those in need. Meanwhile, prices are expected to rise due to supply crunch.

England and Manchester United footballer Marcus Rashford told the BBC Breakfast: “They’re struggling to do what they love to do because there’s a food shortage and of course that’s something we have to find answers to, and also quickly because you know people are out there and they Need food and go especially in winter.”

The UK is also facing huge increases in energy prices, although National Grid has said it is confident supplies will not run out over the winter.

All this is taking place against the backdrop of the end of the £20-a-week raise for the universal debt, which has led to Labor accusing the government of “turning the poorest people on like they are less able to afford it”. less capable. Mr Rashford warned that the move would increase the number of children living in poverty.

The government has previously said the temporary benefit bonus was “designed to help claimants through the economic shock and financial disruption of the hardest phases of the pandemic, and it has done so”.

Additional reporting by the Press Association


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