Boris Johnson promised to “build, build and build” while revealing the government’s plans to ease the economic impact of the coronavirus.
Speaking in the West Midlands, the prime minister will say that he wants to use the coronavirus crisis “to address the country’s major unresolved challenges”.
As part of a “new deal”, Johnson will set out plans to accelerate £ 5 billion in infrastructure projects.
Workers called for a “laser-like focus” on preventing job losses.
The prime minister’s speech comes when the BBC’s analysis found that the UK was hit hardest by all major industrialized G7 countries by the virus in the weeks leading up to the beginning of June.
In April, the British economy shrank a record 20.4% as a result of the spread of the coronavirus and subsequent blockade measures.
In order to emulate the New Deal policies of American President Franklin D. Roosevelt from the era of depression, Johnson will say that he wants a government that “embraces people in a time of crisis.”
After the Wall Street accident in 1929, President Roosevelt launched one of the largest and most expensive US government programs, which included the construction of schools, hospitals and dams.
In an attempt to improve the country’s financial prospects, Johnson will commit to putting jobs and infrastructure at the center of the government’s economic growth, with a commitment to “build, build, build”.
Johnson will say that he wants to use the coronavirus crisis as an opportunity to “build houses, fix the NHS, tackle the skills crisis, close the indefensible gap in opportunities, productivity and connectivity between regions in the UK”. .
“Many parts of this country have been left behind, neglected, unloved, as if someone had made a strategic decision that their destiny doesn’t matter as much as the metropolis.
“And so I want you to know that this government not only has a vision to change this country for the better, but we have a mission to come together and level up.”
Projects under the £ 5 billion investment plan include:
- £ 1.5 billion for hospital maintenance, eradicating mental health dorms, allowing hospitals to be built and improving A&E capacity
- £ 100 million for 29 road network projects, including repairing bridges at Sandwell and improving the A15 in the Humber region
- £ 900 million for local “ready to dig” projects in England this year and 2021
- £ 500,000 – £ 1 million for each area in cities to finance spending on improvements to parks, streets and transport
- More than £ 1 billion to finance a school building project, as announced on Monday
- £ 83m for the maintenance of prisons and facilities for young offenders and £ 60m for temporary prisons.
- The government says it will anticipate funding to “speed up” infrastructure projects in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland.
Chancellor Rishi Sunak will provide an update on the economy next week and in the fall the government will publish a National Infrastructure Strategy.
A Downing Street statement said that “as long as the government establishes a way to balance books in the long run, the prime minister is clear that we will not do so at the expense of investing now in the productive potential of the economy, or at the cost of resilience. UK public services “.
In response to the announcement, Labor shadow chancellor Anneliese Dodds said: “Our country is suffering the worst economic blow of all industrialized countries, but instead of the budget back to work, our country needs to focus on one thing – jobs, jobs, jobs – the chancellor will only provide an ‘update’ on the economy “.
She urged the government to “abandon its” one-size-fits-all “approach to economic support schemes” and instead offer “concrete actions and a laser-like approach, preventing further job losses and supporting future jobs”.
Liberal Democratic education spokeswoman and candidate for party leadership, Layla Moran, said Johnson’s speech seemed “a repetition of manifest promises” and accused the government of “running out of ideas”.
National President of the Federation of Small Businesses (FSB), Mike Cherry, said the announcement was “encouraging”, but said it is important that small businesses are not “locked in the ambition to build … because of complicated rules of public sector purchases “.
And the British Chamber of Commerce’s director general, Adam Marshall, said the government’s plans must “take shape quickly to give a real boost to the confidence of businesses and communities.”