Great Britain

'I think it's great!' Andrew Neil claims global labour shortage is good for peoples' wages

Andrew Neil welcomed onto GB News by Farage as 'contributor'

Ex-BBC journalist Andrew Neil, 72, returned to the channel as he sat on the panel of the broadcaster's flagship Question Time show. Just days after his resignation from GB News, Mr Neil appeared alongside BBC host Fiona Bruce, Labour Shadow Education Minister Kate Green, Tory Minister for the Armed Forces James Heappey, Nadra Ahmed and Nels Abbey.

During a conversation about the impact of Britain's departure from the European Union on shortages in HGV drivers, the chairman of The Spectator magazine offered some hope to workers.

He did however concede Brexit might have played some role in the shortage.

"Brexit, I think, has caused problems in Britain because over a million EU citizens left with Covid, and it's tougher for them now to get back in," Neil said.

But he added: "Even without Brexit, we'd have major problems.

'I think it's great!' Andrew Neil claims global labour shortage is good for peoples' wages

'I think it's great!' Andrew Neil claims global labour shortage is good for peoples' wages (Image: Getty)

"If you think it is a problem - I don't."

The Scottish-born journalist went on to argue the rise in wages that has followed on from the labour shortages could only be a good thing.

"There is a global labour shortage developing now, for demographic reasons, it's for changes in population, changes in work patterns and so on."

Neil then highlighted how issues with labour in Florida now see McDonald's offer would-be workers $50 just to reach the interview stage.

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HGV shortages (generic image)

HGV shortages (generic image) (Image: Getty)

However, the ex-editor of The Sunday Times then decided to turn his attention to the continent.

"Germany today said it needed immediately 400,000 workers," he said.

"The last time I checked they were still in the EU."

"There is a global labour shortage everywhere," he added.

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Andrew Neil

Andrew Neil (Image: Getty)

He did however concede Brexit might have played some role in the shortage.

He did however concede Brexit might have played some role in the shortage. (Image: Getty)

Turning away from the doom-and-gloom, Mr Neil said: "And here's the good news, I think it's great.

"Because with shortage and scarcity, wages are starting to rise again."

He then explained how wages stagnated in the first two decades of the 21st century and added that people with assets saw their wealth continue to rise.

Neil concluded: "One of the reasons why there is a shortage of truck drivers is that the average wage for a truck driver is only £28,000 a year.

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Fiona Bruce

Fiona Bruce (Image: Getty)

Brexit Timeline

Brexit Timeline (Image: Express)

"That's just about the average in earnings at the moment.

"That's not a lot of money for the job it is, long hours, takes you away from home, you don't see your family and so on.

"We need to start paying people better, bigger wages!"

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