Europe

UK government criticized for railway strikes, 40-year-high inflation

Prime Minister Boris Johnson says his government is doing all it can to avoid strikes

Ahmet Gürhan Kartal   | 22.06.2022
UK government criticized for railway strikes, 40-year-high inflation

LONDON

The British government on Wednesday came under fire as the country saw the highest inflation with 9.1% and the transport across the UK is on a standstill due to railway workers’ strike this week.

The opposition’s Labour Party leader Keir Starmer said Prime Minister Boris Johnson and Transport Minister Grants Shapps did not do enough to stop the railway strikes, biggest in the last 30 years at the House of Commons during the prime minister’s questions session.

Johnson responded to criticism, saying his government is doing all it can to avoid the strikes, but it is up to the rail network’s managers to negotiate with the unions.

Johnson said 25 MPs joined the picket lines because the Labour Party takes £10 million ($12 million) from workers unions.

The Scottish National Party (SNP) leader at Westminster, Ian Blackford, questioned why the UK was doing worse than other European economies as the inflation in the country has reached the 40-year high.

Johnson said inflation has become a global problem.

Blackford said a fresh report shows how the Tories’ “disastrous Brexit” will make the country poorer, asking Johnson if he is to negotiate an economic agreement with the EU, or the country would go in recession.

Blackford has underestimated what the UK is achieving, Johnson responded.

Britain has come to a complete standstill from early hours of Tuesday as thousands of rail workers staged an industrial action, leaving the rail network running with a skeleton service, while the country’s airports have already been paralyzed for more than a month due to staff shortages.

The strike by the Rail, Maritime and Transport union, the biggest action the UK has seen in the past 30 years, will see two more days of walkouts on Thursday and Saturday this week.

Many train operators in England, Scotland and Wales have canceled most of the trains since Tuesday morning.

On Thursday, the UK inflation was revealed as 9.1% in the 12 months to May, from 9% in April, the Office for National Statistics said.

Higher food prices helped drive the latest rise in the cost of living during a time workers in the country are demanding pay rises in many sectors to cope with the higher prices.

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