Essence prices soared to near record highs amid warnings of a “terrifying” rise in inflation.
An average liter of unleaded gasoline is now 139.46p – the most expensive since March 2013 and less than 3p below the all-time high of 142.17p set in April 2012.
Prices have risen by more than 26 pence per liter – nearly 23% – over the past 12 months, adding £ 14 to the cost of filling a typical 55-liter family car.
Similar increases could spread throughout the economy, as industry leaders warned MPs yesterday of soaring restaurant meal costs, supermarket bills and manufactured goods.
The resulting cut in the cost of living is expected to undermine Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s “leveling” agenda.
Food and Drink Federation chief executive Ian Wright warned ministers to “think seriously” about inflation caused by supply chain disruption
The prices of cafes, restaurants and pubs are increasing by 14-18% per year, and the same is true of supermarkets, according to the Food and Drink Federation.
Manufacturers and heavy industries are suffering a 30 to 40 percent rise in material prices as well as a double whammy from rising energy and transportation costs, according to manufacturers’ organization Make UK. The cost of transporting a container from the Far East has risen from £ 1,100 in December last year to £ 14,500 today and air freight costs have increased tenfold.
Road transport bosses warn the driver shortage is not improving and say a government visa program to let in more foreign drivers has failed entirely, with just 20 applications.
Food and Drink Federation chief executive Ian Wright has warned ministers to “think seriously” about inflation caused by supply chain disruption. He told MPs on the business committee: “In the hotel industry, which is a precursor to retail, inflation is between 14% and 18%. It’s terrifying.
“I remember inflation went up to 27% under the Callaghan government and I remember the lady walking around Sainsbury’s twice at the same time to change prices.
“We really can’t go back on this. It took us 15 years to recover.
“Inflation is a greater scourge than almost anything because it discriminates against the poor.
He added: “We are not going to run out of food, but there are shortages, we have seen problems with pigs and poultry. “
Gasoline prices have reached near record highs amid warnings of a “terrifying” rise in inflation. Pictured: Drivers line up for fuel at a gas station in London
Duncan Buchanan, policy director of the Road Haulage Association, told MPs: “There is a widespread shortage of truck drivers, resulting in delays and frustrated trips… it has not abated at all. “
And Make UK Managing Director Stephen Phipson said: “We are seeing a 30-40% increase in material costs. Businesses had to pass on the cost, “which implies for us that inflation is more or less integrated,” he said.
He warned the huge increases in shipping and air freight costs were ‘not sustainable’, but industry executives expected their supply chains to be disrupted for another six to nine months. .
The government has said it is up to the industry to ensure efficient supply chains and to offer pay and terms generous enough to attract British workers.