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tv   Review 2021  BBC News  December 22, 2021 2:30pm-3:01pm GMT

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2021 has for many people been a long and difficult year. a year of change and difficult year. a year of change and uncertainty. and worry about the lives and livelihoods and jobs and prospects. early hopes of a return to something more normal have been replaced by a realisation that covid will be around for much longer than we first thought. its impact on how we first thought. its impact on how we live and how we work has been far more significant than feared and our social lives and shopping habits in our travel plans all changed by this pandemic. and now we are learning to
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live with this virus, but learning to live with it and its consequences will be harder, the lostjobs and the rising prices, and a big covid bill still to pay. getting back to where we were will take time and the big question is, just how long would it take? —— will. big question is, 'ust how long would it take? -- will.— big question is, “ust how long would it take? -- will.— big question is, 'ust how long would it take? -- will.— it take? -- will. since the pandemic bean last it take? -- will. since the pandemic began last year. _ it take? -- will. since the pandemic began last year, the _ it take? -- will. since the pandemic began last year, the whole - it take? -- will. since the pandemic began last year, the whole uk... i it take? -- will. since the pandemicl began last year, the whole uk... the start of 2021 — began last year, the whole uk... the start of 2021 it _ began last year, the whole uk... the start of 2021 it was not a happy new year. but we now have a new variant of the virus. taste year. but we now have a new variant of the vim-— of the virus. we must therefore go into a national— of the virus. we must therefore go into a national lockdown _ of the virus. we must therefore go into a national lockdown which - of the virus. we must therefore go into a national lockdown which is l into a national lockdown which is tough enough to contain this variant. that means the government is once again instructing you to stay—at—home. aha, is once again instructing you to stay-at-home-_ stay-at-home. a rise in cases - lun . ed stay-at-home. a rise in cases plunged the — stay-at-home. a rise in cases plunged the country _ stay-at-home. a rise in cases plunged the country back- stay-at-home. a rise in cases plunged the country back into | stay-at-home. a rise in cases. plunged the country back into a national lockdown. shops are bars
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and restaurants were forced to close once again. any festive cheer turned into a painful hangover. schools shut their doors. travel ground to a halt. office workers settled down in spare rooms and on kitchen tables, to work from home once again. and for those who couldn't, and extended furlough scheme helped to prop up earnings. the scheme supported the wages of more than 11.7 million people and after it launched in march in 2020. but it came at a heavy price, and by the time the scheme was wound down in the summer it had cost more than £70 billion. but even then many firms feared it was being withdrawn too soon. many still were not able to operate at full capacity and warned that without financial help they could be forced to close. how confident are
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you that you will be here this time next year? you that you will be here this time next ear? , ' . you that you will be here this time next year?— next year? difficult question. difficult question. _ next year? difficult question. difficult question. i _ next year? difficult question. difficult question. i want - next year? difficult question. difficult question. i want to i next year? difficult question. i difficult question. i want to still be here and i will do my damnedest to still be here. the be here and i will do my damnedest to still be here.— to still be here. the true cost of the pandemic— to still be here. the true cost of the pandemic is _ to still be here. the true cost of the pandemic is still— to still be here. the true cost of the pandemic is still hard - to still be here. the true cost of the pandemic is still hard to - the pandemic is still hard to calculate. as well as thejob retention scheme there were loans and grants for businesses, to help them through the worst of the crisis, the total cost hit nearly £380 billion. but that support kept the economy moving. businesses were closed and workers stuck at home, but the economy avoided another huge slump. second time around businesses and workers had learned to better navigate the restrictions. unemployment began to fall,
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cushioned by the furlough scheme, but remained stubbornly high with many still unable to get back to full—time work. prices began to rise, as well, prompted by supply shortages and rising demand, as the economy began to reopen later in the year. inflation hit a ten year high, prompting a rise in interest rates with speculation that more prompting a rise in interest rates with speculation that more could follow. , , ., ., , with speculation that more could follow. ,, ., ., , , ., _ follow. gdp had fallen very sharply, lockdown is — follow. gdp had fallen very sharply, lockdown is naturally _ follow. gdp had fallen very sharply, lockdown is naturally did _ follow. gdp had fallen very sharply, lockdown is naturally did that - follow. gdp had fallen very sharply, lockdown is naturally did that but i lockdown is naturally did that but we quickly saw a rebound by the second quarter as things started to reopen. second quarter as things started to reo en. , . ., second quarter as things started to reoen. , ~ ., reopen. the second knockdown, businesses _ reopen. the second knockdown, businesses were _ reopen. the second knockdown, businesses were able _ reopen. the second knockdown, businesses were able to - reopen. the second knockdown, businesses were able to reopen| reopen. the second knockdown, - businesses were able to reopen more, able to operate factories, businesses were able to get back up and running and we did see that in the economic growth?— and running and we did see that in the economic growth? exactly. the restrictions — the economic growth? exactly. the restrictions were _ the economic growth? exactly. the restrictions were limited _ the economic growth? exactly. the restrictions were limited to - the economic growth? exactly. the restrictions were limited to contact| restrictions were limited to contact services, and a lot of businesses were allowed to carry on. schools were allowed to carry on. schools were not as disrupted as they were the first time around, so various
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areas of the economy were allowed to continue. at the start of the year we had unemployment at around 5.3%, 1.8 million people, and then out on top of that we also had another fit of the population on some form of government support be it the furlough scheme or self employed help and also a lot of people that fell through the gaps. but it highlights the extent of the support that was required to just bridge the gap through the lockdown period. of course, since then unemployment has come down very sharply but all of the indicators currently suggest that the labour market is looking very strong, plenty of demand for workers and if anything, not enough workers and if anything, not enough work is available, who are skilled to fill the jobs that are out there. what happens in 2022? what will be year look like economically? irate year look like economically? we should year look like economically? - should complete the recovery in gdp terms in 2022 and there is still
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further catch up because the economy would have naturally grown anyway had it not been for the downturn. the big challenge will be at high inflation, the energy information that we have seen in wholesale markets has not fully fed into household sectors yet, and the increase in the energy price cap in october was just increase in the energy price cap in october wasjust ten, 11% increase but we potentially have another 17% increase coming through in april and that will be a major shock for households when it happens. itrailiiiie households when it happens. while eve art households when it happens. while every part of _ households when it happens. while every part of the — households when it happens. while every part of the economy - households when it happens. while every part of the economy continued to feel the impact of the pandemic, the hospitality industry was one of the hospitality industry was one of the hardest hit, and even now it is dealing with a reintroduction of restrictions that many firms hoped were long gone. pubs and bars and restaurants and hotels all bore the brunt of lockdown rules. despite spending millions on new safety
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measures to protect their customers. and their staff. just measures to protect their customers. and their staff-— and their staff. just so nice to be with peeple _ and their staff. just so nice to be with people again. _ and their staff. just so nice to be with people again. in _ and their staff. just so nice to be with people again. in april - with people again. in april hospitality _ with people again. in april hospitality venues - with people again. in april hospitality venues were i with people again. in april l hospitality venues were able with people again. in april - hospitality venues were able to reopen after a winter of lockdown. but they could only do so outdoors and even then there were limits on numbers and it meantjust a third of hospitality venues could trade, those that had outdoor space or a beer garden. it is those that had outdoor space or a beer garden-— beer garden. it is nice to get toaether beer garden. it is nice to get together and _ beer garden. it is nice to get together and to _ beer garden. it is nice to get together and to share - beer garden. it is nice to get together and to share what l beer garden. it is nice to get i together and to share what we beer garden. it is nice to get - together and to share what we have been doing. together and to share what we have been doing-— been doing. feels like forever, that we have been _ been doing. feels like forever, that we have been able _ been doing. feels like forever, that we have been able to _ been doing. feels like forever, that we have been able to sit _ been doing. feels like forever, that we have been able to sit down - we have been able to sit down togethen _ we have been able to sit down touether. , ., ., ., together. they are managing it quite well. you need _ together. they are managing it quite well. you need to _ together. they are managing it quite well. you need to be _ together. they are managing it quite well. you need to be out _ together. they are managing it quite well. you need to be out with - together. they are managing it quite well. you need to be out with your . well. you need to be out with your friends _ well. you need to be out with your friends and — well. you need to be out with your friends and family— well. you need to be out with your friends and family and _ well. you need to be out with your friends and family and do - well. you need to be out with your friends and family and do these i friends and family and do these things — friends and family and do these things it— friends and family and do these thins. . , friends and family and do these thins. .,, ., , . ., things. it was really challenging because you — things. it was really challenging because you simply _ things. it was really challenging because you simply don't - things. it was really challengingj because you simply don't know, things. it was really challenging - because you simply don't know, we did have pre—bookings and people were booking because of the social distancing space limitations but it still meant you had a mismatch between supply and demand where you had an unpredictable number of people coming, very heavily weather dependent in the early part, april
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and may, where people would cancel their bookings very last minute because they could not sit outside, and crucially it meant it was difficult to get staff to come back to work and recruit new staff into the industry because we could not offer them a stable career choice and we could not offer them a guaranteed set of hours for them to return to hospitality.— return to hospitality. others had to wait until may _ return to hospitality. others had to wait until may to _ return to hospitality. others had to wait until may to reopen _ return to hospitality. others had to wait until may to reopen indoors, l wait until may to reopen indoors, and even then it wasn't business as usual. with nervous customers staying away and many others deterred by the rule of six limits. nice to be back as a team and nice to see our regulars once again. we are down financially, we are down, but we are surviving and we hope to survive. ., ., but we are surviving and we hope to | survive._ cheering survive. three, two, one. cheering b jul at survive. three, two, one. cheering byjuly at nearly _ survive. three, two, one. cheering byjuly at nearly all— survive. three, two, one. cheering by july at nearly all remaining - byjuly at nearly all remaining restrictions were lifted in england. but they came with a warning from the prime minister that life would
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not instantly revert to normal. but that initial excitement gave way to a realisation that the pandemic was far from over. a realisation that the pandemic was farfrom over. tighter restrictions remained in wales, scotland and northern ireland, and in december england reintroduced some rules, moving into its so—called plan b, and as omicron cases began to rise so did cancellations. many hospitality firms reported a slump in christmas bookings as fears of a new wave of infection convinced customers to stay—at—home. michael represents the night—time industries, bars and music venues and nightclubs, and he told me firms had learned to adapt but many struggled to stay open.- had learned to adapt but many struggled to stay open. there were so many confusing _
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struggled to stay open. there were so many confusing guidelines - struggled to stay open. there were so many confusing guidelines and l so many confusing guidelines and rules, even things where the local authorities and police were really struggling to interpret, so for an industry that had been somewhat beleaguered, it was a very difficult time, especially economically, they were struggling, but in terms of the cultured side of things and then and nightclubs, once they were given the opportunity, they were out of the box because some of those youngsters were starved of those social environments and they can go out and enjoy. 850,000 new 18—year—olds came of age during that period, who were without this and were dying to get out to graze the dance floor with whatever moves they felt were right. it is fair to say the pandemic revealed some of the failings of the industry and businesses have taken those things, like not paying staff enough? those things, like not paying staff enou~h? ~ ., ., ., , those things, like not paying staff enou~h?~ ., ., ., , , enough? without a doubt, we can see some of the — enough? without a doubt, we can see some of the failings _ enough? without a doubt, we can see some of the failings and _ some of the failings and shortcomings on our side and we have work to do in terms of safeguarding and looking after staff. rates,
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environment, all of these key elements are going to make a difference, but we also need to invest in them.— difference, but we also need to invest in them. ~ ., :: :: invest in them. what will 2020 look like? i invest in them. what will 2020 look like? i want — invest in them. what will 2020 look like? i want to _ invest in them. what will 2020 look like? i want to believe _ invest in them. what will 2020 look like? i want to believe that - invest in them. what will 2020 look like? i want to believe that 2022 . like? i want to believe that 2022 will be our _ like? i want to believe that 2022 will be our opportunity _ like? i want to believe that 2022 will be our opportunity to - like? i want to believe that 2022 will be our opportunity to take . like? i want to believe that 2022 will be our opportunity to take a | will be our opportunity to take a handle on this and move forward, because we need the confidence back and the uncertainty to be taken away. we need strong economic drivers to allow us to rebuild and we need tourism back without a doubt and that has got to be a huge consideration, even with new variants coming forward. like hospitality. — variants coming forward. like hospitality, the _ variants coming forward. like hospitality, the travel - variants coming forward. like hospitality, the travel industry struggled to get off the ground this year, as well. travel did start again but with strict fast changing rules. february saw the introduction of hotel quarantine. uk residents returning from coronavirus hotspots
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abroad had to book a ten night stay in an improved airport hotel. other foreign visitors were still off—limits. by the summer foreign holidays where possible, at last, but with expensive test to take and long forms to fill in, for many a trip to the sun was still out of reach. how are you feeling about this holiday?— reach. how are you feeling about this holiday? really excited. to be auoin awa this holiday? really excited. to be going away again _ this holiday? really excited. to be going away again after _ this holiday? really excited. to be going away again after these - going away again after these lockdowns.— going away again after these lockdowns. ., ., , ., lockdowns. normally go in the holida s, lockdowns. normally go in the holidays, something _ lockdowns. normally go in the holidays, something to - lockdowns. normally go in the holidays, something to look i lockdowns. normally go in the - holidays, something to look forward to, but _ holidays, something to look forward to, but i_ holidays, something to look forward to, but i have to say, this has been a pretty— to, but i have to say, this has been a pretty stressful anxious time for everybody, so not sure i would do it again. _ everybody, so not sure i would do it again, knowing what i know from this experience _ again, knowing what i know from this experience. the again, knowing what i know from this exerience. ,.,. ., experience. the impact of the frequently _ experience. the impact of the frequently changing _ experience. the impact of the frequently changing rules - experience. the impact of the - frequently changing rules prompted anger from the industry. frequently changing rules prompted angerfrom the industry. what frequently changing rules prompted anger from the industry.— anger from the industry. what we don't understand _ anger from the industry. what we don't understand is _ anger from the industry. what we don't understand is why _ anger from the industry. what we don't understand is why the - anger from the industry. what we don't understand is why the uk i anger from the industry. what we -
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don't understand is why the uk which has been so successful with vaccines is expecting its vaccinated citizens travelling to portugal, coming back, to currency, because they have already been vaccinated, so they are making up as they go along and it is more mismanagement of the covid recovery from thejohnson government recovery from the johnson government and recovery from thejohnson government and sadly it recovery from the johnson government and sadly it has unnecessary disruption and stress for thousands, hundreds of thousands of british families. $5 hundreds of thousands of british families. �* , hundreds of thousands of british families. . , , ., ., ., families. as the year went on and desite families. as the year went on and despite the _ families. as the year went on and despite the challenges, _ families. as the year went on and l despite the challenges, confidence began to return. bookingsjumped despite the challenges, confidence began to return. bookings jumped as airlines and passengers learned to navigate the restrictions. for many it was their first holiday since the pandemic began. and for the travel industry, theirfirst pandemic began. and for the travel industry, their first steps on the long road to recovery. take us back, laura is from the travel firm sky scanner. ~ . , laura is from the travel firm sky scanner. ~ ., , ., scanner. we have seen a huge chanauin scanner. we have seen a huge changing the _ scanner. we have seen a huge
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changing the way _ scanner. we have seen a huge changing the way the - scanner. we have seen a huge changing the way the industry | scanner. we have seen a huge i changing the way the industry has approached the pandemic and we have seen resilience from both travellers and the industry in the way we have had to adapt. flexibility is something that was relatively unheard of before the pandemic and something we have become accustomed to. ~ w' , something we have become accustomed to. ~' . ~' , ., something we have become accustomed to. ~' ,., ,., to. like tickets and bookings and refunds? yes, _ to. like tickets and bookings and refunds? yes, flexible _ to. like tickets and bookings and refunds? yes, flexible policies. i refunds? yes, flexible policies. probably a _ refunds? yes, flexible policies. probably a greater— refunds? yes, flexible policies. i probably a greater understanding refunds? yes, flexible policies. - probably a greater understanding of insurance and being able to change your plans is something that whilst not always what people have in mind, it has enabled people to feel more confident if they are thinking about going away. the confident if they are thinking about auoin awa . , , confident if they are thinking about oaian awa . , , ., going away. the industry did learn to ada at going away. the industry did learn to adapt and _ going away. the industry did learn to adapt and navigate _ going away. the industry did learn to adapt and navigate the - going away. the industry did learn to adapt and navigate the new- going away. the industry did learn i to adapt and navigate the new rules but the arrival of omicron, the new variant, has brought new uncertainty. about how and where we can travel. irate uncertainty. about how and where we can travel. ~ , uncertainty. about how and where we can travel. . , , , can travel. we believe this will be a significant _ can travel. we believe this will be a significant setback _ can travel. we believe this will be a significant setback for _ can travel. we believe this will be a significant setback for demand i a significant setback for demand this winter and real impact on christmas, people will now cancel or postpone travel plans and for a sector that has not had any revenue
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for 18 months, give or take a few months in the summer, it is really significant. airlines don't make money in the winter so we have a difficult stretch ahead. on the high street, there was a quicker return to something more normal. shops reopened and shoppers, in need of a retailfix, rushed back. what have you got? aha, in need of a retail fix, rushed back. what have you got? a pair of trousers. back. what have you got? a pair of trousers- i — back. what have you got? a pair of trousers. i have _ back. what have you got? a pair of trousers. i have bought _ back. what have you got? a pair of trousers. i have bought my - back. what have you got? a pair of trousers. i have bought my little i trousers. i have bought my little bo three trousers. i have bought my little boy three outfits, _ trousers. i have bought my little boy three outfits, from - trousers. i have bought my little boy three outfits, from the - trousers. i have bought my littlel boy three outfits, from the sales. do not _ boy three outfits, from the sales. do not show my partner this. | boy three outfits, from the sales. do not show my partner this. i have had my first — do not show my partner this. i have had my first job _ do not show my partner this. i have had my first job but _ do not show my partner this. i have had my first job but i _ do not show my partner this. i have had my first job but i have - do not show my partner this. i have had my first job but i have got - do not show my partner this. i have had my first job but i have got my l had my firstjob but i have got my mask for going into places —— my
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firstjab. mask for going into places -- my first 'ab. �* ., ., , . ., ., first jab. but covid has changed our habits and the _ first jab. but covid has changed our habits and the shift _ first jab. but covid has changed our habits and the shift to _ first jab. but covid has changed our habits and the shift to online - habits and the shift to online gathered pace in the pandemic and it means retailers are having to work much harder to keep us coming back to the high street. i’m much harder to keep us coming back to the high street.— to the high street. i'm so relieved that we have _ to the high street. i'm so relieved that we have got _ to the high street. i'm so relieved that we have got here. _ to the high street. i'm so relieved that we have got here. we - to the high street. i'm so relieved that we have got here. we have i to the high street. i'm so relieved i that we have got here. we have been closed for around eight months out of the last 13 and how can you really run a business like that? we have an online presence so that has been really helpful. i don't know what would have happened if it had not been online. 2021 what would have happened if it had not been online.— not been online. 2021 was also supposed _ not been online. 2021 was also supposed to — not been online. 2021 was also supposed to be _ not been online. 2021 was also supposed to be the _ not been online. 2021 was also supposed to be the year- not been online. 2021 was also supposed to be the year that i not been online. 2021 was also. supposed to be the year that we returned to the office en masse and finally ditching the kitchen table and zoom calls but concerns over the roll—out of the vaccine and the need for staff to self—isolate meant that many bosses adopted a new hybrid model, some time working in the office and some time at home. irate
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model, some time working in the office and some time at home. we are never going — office and some time at home. we are never going to — office and some time at home. we are never going to go _ office and some time at home. we are never going to go back— office and some time at home. we are never going to go back to _ office and some time at home. we are never going to go back to working - never going to go back to working the way we used to work. people working from home 3—4 days will need 20% less space but we won't do that if everyone is working from home on mondays and fridays so we have got to manage that, i think, quite carefully. to manage that, i think, quite carefull . , ., , ., to manage that, ithink, quite carefull. , ., , ., ., carefully. the implications for our town and city _ carefully. the implications for our town and city centres _ carefully. the implications for our town and city centres were - carefully. the implications for our town and city centres were clear. | carefully. the implications for our i town and city centres were clear. we rel town and city centres were clear. - rely heavily on the office trade. there is locations that have 5000 people and only 140 people came to the building so most people were working from home or maybe just once a week coming. that makes it really difficult. , , , . difficult. experts predicted the randemic difficult. experts predicted the pandemic would _ difficult. experts predicted the pandemic would change - difficult. experts predicted the pandemic would change our i difficult. experts predicted the i pandemic would change our lives difficult. experts predicted the - pandemic would change our lives in many ways but it has brought some unexpected problems as well. not least a lack of workers. the uk for more exit from the eu at the start of 2021 added to the complications
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—— formal exit. many workers who left because a brexit or covid, did not return. the impact was felt across industries. with a shortage of lorry drivers, abattoir butchers, fruit pickers and restaurant staff. in hospitality and retail, the hgv driver shortage caused particular problems for suppliers, especially for items shipped in from overseas. it led to empty shelves and apologies to customers. a shortage of drivers means that you might find your bins are collected a bit less frequently than they were in the past, and it is part of a wider problem across the industry, of a shortage of drivers, whether that is for rubbish or restaurants and supermarkets. it for rubbish or restaurants and supermarkets.— for rubbish or restaurants and supermarkets. it is the perfect storm we _ supermarkets. it is the perfect storm we have _ supermarkets. it is the perfect storm we have been _ supermarkets. it is the perfect storm we have been talking i supermarkets. it is the perfect i storm we have been talking about, supermarkets. it is the perfect - storm we have been talking about, so less testing through the pandemic, the exodus of eu skills as a result
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of brexit we have had this thing which is about tax treatment for the industry and we also have this ageing workforce of drivers in the uk which we have known about for some time, but in the uk every week, 2000 drivers leave the industry and only 1000 drivers are joint so we have got a real mismatch. irate only 1000 drivers are joint so we have got a real mismatch. we will talk much more _ have got a real mismatch. we will talk much more about _ have got a real mismatch. we will talk much more about one - have got a real mismatch. we will talk much more about one of i have got a real mismatch. we will talk much more about one of my i talk much more about one of my favourite issues which is bin collections because we have talked about this before but it is something which is so important and one of those industries we absolutely do take for granted. there were also shortages on the forecourt, petrol supplies ran dry. not because of a lack of fuel but a lack of drivers to deliver it. it meant scenes like this were repeated across the country.— across the country. shocked, how am i aoain to across the country. shocked, how am i going to get — across the country. shocked, how am i going to get to _ across the country. shocked, how am i going to get to work? _ across the country. shocked, how am i going to get to work? mike - across the country. shocked, how am i going to get to work? mike mrs i across the country. shocked, how am i going to get to work? mike mrs is i i going to get to work? mike mrs is nine months _ i going to get to work? mike mrs is nine months pregnant _ i going to get to work? mike mrs is nine months pregnant and - i going to get to work? mike mrs is nine months pregnant and i - i going to get to work? mike mrs is nine months pregnant and i could i nine months pregnant and i could actually— nine months pregnant and i could actually get stuck somewhere and not
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be able _ actually get stuck somewhere and not be able to _ actually get stuck somewhere and not be able to get back —— my partner is nine months — be able to get back —— my partner is nine months pregnant. i�*m be able to get back -- my partner is nine months pregnant.— be able to get back -- my partner is nine months pregnant. i'm empty now, runnina on nine months pregnant. i'm empty now, running on fumes. _ nine months pregnant. i'm empty now, running on fumes. what _ nine months pregnant. i'm empty now, running on fumes. what are _ nine months pregnant. i'm empty now, running on fumes. what are you - nine months pregnant. i'm empty now, running on fumes. what are you going | running on fumes. what are you going to do? hopefully _ running on fumes. what are you going to do? hopefully get _ running on fumes. what are you going to do? hopefully get fuel. _ running on fumes. what are you going to do? hopefully get fuel. those i to do? hopefully get fuel. those shortaaes to do? hopefully get fuel. those shortages were _ to do? hopefully get fuel. those shortages were just _ to do? hopefully get fuel. those shortages were just the - to do? hopefully get fuel. those shortages were just the first i to do? hopefully get fuel. those i shortages were just the first taste of the new challenges as the economy reopened. rising demand, worker shortages, supply issues and soaring energy prices, have pushed shortages, supply issues and soaring energy prices, have pushed up shortages, supply issues and soaring energy prices, have pushed up prices in supermarkets, forecourts and in factories, shipping costs also hit record highs as the world reopened to global trade. inflation in the uk hit a ten year high. as prices rise, wages are not keeping pace, and it means a squeeze on already stretched incomes. ~ ., ,, ., ., incomes. when we talk about a standard of _ incomes. when we talk about a standard of living _ incomes. when we talk about a standard of living and - incomes. when we talk about a standard of living and a - incomes. when we talk about a i standard of living and a incoming squeeze we mean prices are going up faster than wages and that is what we are having right now and that
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could be unpleasant and it will be one of the biggest issues for next year. one of the biggest issues for next ear. ., one of the biggest issues for next ear, ., ., , one of the biggest issues for next ear. ., ., , ., . ., year. how does the chancellor respond? _ year. how does the chancellor respond? he _ year. how does the chancellor respond? he is _ year. how does the chancellor respond? he is in _ year. how does the chancellor respond? he is in a _ year. how does the chancellor respond? he is in a difficult i year. how does the chancellor i respond? he is in a difficult spot because his _ respond? he is in a difficult spot because his instincts _ respond? he is in a difficult spot because his instincts are - respond? he is in a difficult spot because his instincts are to i respond? he is in a difficult spot because his instincts are to get i respond? he is in a difficult spot i because his instincts are to get the public debt, down over time, and if you look at the amount of total debt in the uk it is at £2.2 trillion and to give you an idea how much that is, if you went back to when the pyramids were being built 5000 years ago, and started spending £1 million per day, you would be about two thirds of the way through by now. it is a huge number. it doesn't really matter because usually you measure debt compared to income, the national income, and the total national income, and the total national debt is equal to the total national debt is equal to the total national income roughly and that is the highest it has been for a long time. his instinct is to try and get that down. you can do that in a couple of ways, raise taxes, which he has done, and cut spending which he has done, and cut spending which he has done, and cut spending which he has had a hard time doing it
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during a pandemic, so what does he do next? people think if you are going to tax the economy you are going to tax the economy you are going to tax the economy you are going to stop it growing as fast and the other big problem apart from inflation is growth. because nothing is a bigger debt killer than growth. if you haven't got that, you have got a problem, and the most recent forecasts are that the economy is not forecast to grow very fast in the years to come.— not forecast to grow very fast in the years to come. what has been fascinating — the years to come. what has been fascinating about _ the years to come. what has been fascinating about this _ the years to come. what has been fascinating about this year - the years to come. what has been fascinating about this year is i the years to come. what has been fascinating about this year is that l fascinating about this year is that all of this has happened and then in the background we have brexit and that has barely got a look in but it has had an impact. if that has barely got a look in but it has had an impact.— that has barely got a look in but it has had an impact. if you look back to the beginning _ has had an impact. if you look back to the beginning of _ has had an impact. if you look back to the beginning of the _ has had an impact. if you look back to the beginning of the year - has had an impact. if you look back to the beginning of the year there i to the beginning of the year there was a lot of consternation that because of the new rules coming in and the fact there would —— we were not in the customs union, it would be get tailbacks for trucks 50 miles long? it did not happen. the worst case scenario, the armageddon of huge delays at the border did not happen, but having said that, there
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are some companies who found it much more difficult to export. it are some companies who found it much more difficult to export.— more difficult to export. it takes us to the point _ more difficult to export. it takes us to the point of— more difficult to export. it takes us to the point of here - more difficult to export. it takes us to the point of here we i more difficult to export. it takes us to the point of here we go i more difficult to export. it takes i us to the point of here we go again. it is all looking horribly familiar, we are sat here december, 2021, if yours is reminiscent of christmas last year. given what we are seeing —— it feels very reminiscent. all bets are off for next year. it -- it feels very reminiscent. all bets are off for next year. it feels like groundhog _ bets are off for next year. it feels like groundhog day _ bets are off for next year. it feels like groundhog day but _ bets are off for next year. it feels like groundhog day but we i bets are off for next year. it feels like groundhog day but we knowl bets are off for next year. it feels i like groundhog day but we know more than we did this time last year and we have all been through an intensive course of how to deal with a pandemic. the good news is, the economy is still growing, employees are back at work, largely, and we did not see the massive spike in unemployment we thought we might at the end of the furlough scheme so those are reasons to be positive but what is difficult for the economy and for the chancellor and businesses, it feels a bit reluctant to invest, am i going to build another factory to invest, am i going to build anotherfactory and hire to invest, am i going to build another factory and hire another 5000 people, am i going to send them on training? that is important
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because the higher wage high skills economy that the government wants and that we all want, relies on business doing a lot of the heavy lifting on that in terms of investment, and business investment is still very very weak and until we see that coming back i think we have to be a bit cautious about how confident you are in what is going to happen to the economy. watching the resource of a nurse and the resilience of business has been humbling, actually —— resourcefulness. they have actually pulled it out of the bag and i think in many ways business, if you look at what happened, getting food supplies in, business had a pretty good crisis and i think people realised that business was important and that it could be a force for good. and really, used its ingenuity and resilience and resourcefulness to fix some problems that we really affecting society. —— that were.
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many hoped that 2022 would notjust be a new year but a new start, but the worst of these pandemic —— that the worst of these pandemic —— that the worst of these pandemic —— that the worst of the pandemic would be over, but the arrival of a new variant has brought new challenges. it has exhausted business and everyone, to think again and to do things differently, but quite what that looks like it still is not there. —— is still not clear.
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cold and frosty, but the high pressure is going to continue. it allows the low pressure from the atlantic to influence the story. it is bringing milder but wetter weather with it and this is the first signs of it. a cold day for many at around 2—6 but behind the weather front of the mild air is starting to come in so we will seek 9 degrees for the likes of northern ireland and may be parts of northern ireland and may be parts of cornwall. the wet weather continuing to push steadily north and east, fragmenting a bit and becoming showery. if we get breaks in the cloud, we could see icy stretches in north—east scotland and england, and a chilly start here. out to the west, double figures to start thursday morning. all change here. still that southerly wind
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continuing to push milder air in from the south—west, behind these weather fronts. they will bring some fairly erratic outbreaks of rain at times, light and patchy in england and wales, heavier bursts potentially in northern ireland, scotland and north—east england. still that cold air in place, but behind it northern ireland, england and wales, a noticeable difference to the weather. for christmas eve, it looks like we will start with a fair amount of cloud and more wet weather pushing into the far south—west. the best sunshine for christmas eve in eastern scotland and north—east england, still chilly, but double figures into the south—west. here comes the complication for christmas day. as the milder air bumps into the colder air, where they meet, the potential for some sleet and snow, so some of us mightjust about see a white christmas. most likely to be across northern england, the north pennines, down into the midlands, albeit fairly light and patchy, as this weather front drifts
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steadily north and east. the best of the drier, sunny weather on christmas day likely to be scotland and north—east england. take care.
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this is bbc news — broadcasting to viewers in the uk and around the world. i'm mattherw amroliwala. our top stories — world leaders reinstate covid restrictions. germany and portugal announce more post—christmas curbs. france warns daily cases could pass 100,000 a day very soon. 13 million people are put into covid lockdown — in one chinese city — just weeks ahead of the winter olympics. in the last few minutes uk government scientific advisers are recommending children aged 5—to—11, who are clinically vulnerable, should be offered a low dose of covid vaccine. the welsh government introduces new measures from boxing day, groups of no more than six people will be allowed to meet in pubs, cinemas and restaurants

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