Rishi Sunak 'confident' that Christmas presents will be available for shoppers

·2 min read
Rishi Sunak said there will be a "good amount of Christmas presents available" - NEIL HALL/EPA-EFE/Shutterstock
Rishi Sunak said there will be a "good amount of Christmas presents available" - NEIL HALL/EPA-EFE/Shutterstock

Christmas presents will be available to buy at Christmas, Rishi Sunak has said, as he claimed everything is being done to fix supply chain issues.

The Chancellor blamed global issues for delays seen at ports such as Felixstowe, where the average shipping container has been spending more than nine days on site before it is collected. That is more than double the average "dwell time" last year.

Mr Sunak spoke after he chaired a meeting of finance ministers on Wednesday in Washington DC.

They agreed to work together to address the issues.

The Chancellor told the BBC: "I'm confident there'll be a good amount of Christmas presents available for everyone to buy."

His comments come after the world's largest shipping firm has diverted giant cargo ships away from the UK, leading to fears of a shortage of toys, clothes and electronics at Christmas.

Maersk, the Danish shipping giant, announced that larger vessels would be ordered to dock elsewhere in Europe to avoid growing congestion at Felixstowe Port in Suffolk caused in part by a shortage of lorry drivers.

'Supply chain issues are being felt globally'

The Treasury said Mr Sunak told the G7 meeting of the "importance of global co-operation to ensure that supply chains are more resilient as the world emerges from the pandemic".

Speaking after the meeting, Mr Sunak added: "Supply chain issues are being felt globally - and finance leaders from around the globe must collaborate to address our shared challenges.

"Today we have collectively agreed to work closely over the coming months - and together we will build a strong and resilient recovery."

Motorists and shoppers in the UK were urged not to panic buy fuel and goods towards the end of September as the shortage of lorry drivers hit supplies.

Ministers faced pressure to ease immigration rules as an emergency measure to attract HGV drivers from overseas amid warnings that 100,000 more were needed across the industry.