An article in The Guardian newspaper has reported that there is likely to be a Christmas turkey shortage if EU workers not allowed in to work in British Poultry farms.
Poultry farmers are urging the government to lift travel restrictions to allow hundreds of specialist EU turkey pluckers to fill jobs in the UK, with a warning that there could be a shortage of birds or higher prices if the restrictions are not waived.
The proposed exemption would cover at least 1,000 seasonal workers who normally travel from Poland, Romania, Hungary, Bulgaria, the Czech Republic, Slovakia and Slovenia at the end of October to help slaughter, pluck and prepare birds destined for UK Christmas dinner tables. It says workers with typical two-month contracts will not come if they have to quarantine for two weeks upon arrival, even if they are provided with Covid-secure accommodation and “work bubbles”.
With lockdown forcing smaller festive gatherings, farmers are finding it difficult to predict consumer demand, and there are fears that larger birds will be out of favour.
Chicks – or poults – typically ordered in February grace the Christmas dinner table as fully grown birds the following year. According to the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra), between January and June 2020 there were 6.2m poults being reared on farms, compared with 6.1m in the same period in 2019.
Intensive meat processing plants have already fallen victim to outbreaks of Covid-19. A thousand staff at Bernard Matthews’ facility in Holton, Suffolk, have been tested after 72 colleagues were found to be Covid-19 positive.
Loan and credit card payments to be frozen for three months in UK.
The financial regulator has announced plans to freeze loan and credit card payments for up to three months as part of emergency measures for consumers impacted by the coronavirus outbreak. They have also announced plans to help businesses that are struggling in the current climate.
The new measures which could come into force by 9th April is aimed at consumers and renters who are not benefiting from existing relief measures that have targeted homeowners – with mortgage payment holidays – or business owners.
The FCA has advised that banks and credit card providers will have to ensure that consumer credit ratings are unaffected by any of the measures.
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Shoppers across the country British shoppers have been greeted by empty shelves where toilet paper or canned food are usually stocked due to panic and bulking buying.
Shops are now opening earlier to allow elderly to do their shopping and doing their best keep up with the booming demand for certain products like cleaning supplies or toilet paper, but experts say all consumers have a role in making sure basic goods are available for everyone who needs them.
Most economists expect the long term hit to businesses and consumer spending because of COVID-19 will have long-term ramifications for the greater economy and potentially lead to a recession.
The chancellor, Rishi Sunak has unveiled a package of financial measures to shore up the economy against the coronavirus impact.
It includes £330bn in loans, £20bn in other aid, a business rates holiday, and grants for retailers and pubs. Help for airlines is also being considered.