Ask an expert economist anything about the ongoing supply crisis

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Empty shelves in a Tesco Extra store in Worthing, West Sussex (PA)
Empty shelves in a Tesco Extra store in Worthing, West Sussex (PA)

As we head closer and closer towards Christmas the ongoing supply crisis affecting the festive period is becoming a very real concern among many.

Whether it is Brexit or the after effect of the pandemic, the supply shortages are real and that’s across several sectors, whether that’s energy suppliers, butchers or lorry drivers.

Boris Johnson’s government continues to claim the supply issues are a global problem as empty shelves in the supermarkets, disruption to fuel supply and a backlog at ports ensue.

Transport secretary Grant Shapps claimed on Friday that “our supply chain is pretty robust” – but could not guarantee there would not be shortages in the run-up to Christmas.

The cabinet minister also claimed the country’s problems would not be solved by returning to uncontrolled immigration – but was accused of hypocrisy by the organisation representing lorry drivers.

Shapps has announced emergency plans to lift the limit on the number of deliveries foreign lorry drivers can make in the UK for up to six months. But the Road Haulage Association (RHA) complained that it would undercut British drivers.

“Allowing overseas companies and drivers to come over for perhaps up to six months on a fortnightly basis to do unlimited work at low rates, undercutting UK hauliers,” said the RHA’s Rod McKenzie.

The questions that many want answered are “how long will this last?”, “how much worse will it get?” and “how much will it affect the price of everyday items?”

To help answer some of these questions and help put some context and figures to the ongoing scenarios the country is facing independent economist Julian Jessop will be hand on this page answering your supply crisis questions from 4pm on Monday, 18 October.

Julian has more than thirty years of experience in the public sector, the City and consultancy and most recently was Chief Economist at the Institute of Economic Affairs.

Sign in to submit your question in the comments box below.

If you’re not already a member, click “sign up” in the comments section to leave your question.

Don’t worry if you can’t see your question – they will be hidden until Julian joins the conversation to answer them.

Then join us live on this page from 4pm on Monday, 18 October, as he tackles as many questions as he can within an hour.

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