Boris Johnson to unveil latest coronavirus recovery plan echoing former US President


    This is a reference to policies set out by US President Franklin D Roosevelt in the 1930s, who set about rebuilding the US economy following the Great Depression.

    In his announcement this morning, Johnson is expected to place a new emphasis on infrastructure in post-pandemic Britain, urging the country to “build, build, build”.

    He is expected to comment on constructing homes, fixing the NHS and tackling a shortage of skilled jobs in the UK.

    He will also mention a decentralisation of power, with the idea being, in his words: “to mend the indefensible gap in opportunity and productivity and connectivity between the regions of the UK”.

    The speech will be delivered from the West Midlands town of Dudley this morning – though the exact time is unclear.

    The location of the speech may not be entirely coincidental. It follows reports that the Midlands and the North are set to receive a big part of the government’s investment into the plans, according to Birmingham Live.

    boris johnson with a hard hat

    Boris Johnson will urge the UK to ‘build, build, build’ (Image: Toby Melville / WPA Pool / Getty)

    Johnson is expected to say later today: “It sounds positively Rooseveltian. It sounds like a New Deal. All I can say is that if so, then that is how it is meant to sound and to be, because that is what the times demand.

    “A government that is powerful and determined and that puts its arms around people at a time of crisis.

    “This is a government that is wholly committed not just to defeating coronavirus but to using this crisis finally to tackle this country’s great unresolved challenges of the last three decades.”

    Sky News reports that the £5 billion pledged by the prime minister tomorrow will include: £1.5bn for hospital maintenance; at least £1bn towards a decade-long school rebuilding initiative and £560m for school repairs and upgrades; and £100 million for 29 road network plans.

    READ: Leicester residents told to ‘STAY HOME’ as city forced back into lockdown after virus surge

    Franklin D Roosevelt

    Boris Johnson compared himself to Franklin D Roosevelt, former US president after the Great Depression (Image: Hulton Archive / Getty)

    The plans will also include a further £96 million into the Towns Fund – an scheme aiming to attract investment to town centres across the UK.

    However, the plan is already facing backlash regarding funding concerns. One UK think tank warned that tax hikes would be needed.

    And Labour leader Sir Kier Starmer has said it is “staggering” that there is no July budget planned.

    He told Sky News that “any budget in July has to focus on jobs, jobs, jobs”.

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    new house being built in the UK

    Johnson will say the government is “committed” to building homes (Image: Christopher Furlong / Getty)

    And Caroline Lucas, former leader of the Green Party and current Brighton Green MP, said the plans did not go far enough to boost green incentives.

    She said on Twitter: “The deal we need now is a #GreenNewDeal. Green infrastructure, not new roads. Protection for workers, not CEO bonuses.”

    Meanwhile, Johnson has claimed that “the cash is there” for investment into the UK in the wake of the Covid-19 outbreak.

    The UK saw its economy shrink by 20.4 percent in April this year, which is the biggest ever monthly drop recorded.

    Caroline Lucas giving a speech

    Former Green Party leader Caroline Lucas MP said the PM’s plan did not go far enough environmentally. (Image: Andres Pantoja / SOPA Images / LightRocket / Getty)

    Earlier this month the Bank of England said it was to spend £100 billion in order to stimulate the UK economy.

    This amount is on top of the Bank’s announcement that it would purchase up to £200 billion in bonds.

    Economists are also predicting that the BoE will keep its interest rate at 0.1 percent, amidst discussions it could drop into the negatives.


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