Boris Johnson's Answer To COVID-19 Downturn: «Build, Build, Build» .

Boris Johnson's Answer To COVID-19 Downturn: 'Build, Build, Build'

Boris Johnson was elected by a landslide in 2019 before the coronavirus struck (File)

London:

British Prime Minister Boris Johnson will set out plans to spend the economy out of its coronavirus-induced crisis with a speech on Tuesday promising to fast-track 5 billion pounds ($6.15 billion) of infrastructure investment.

Britain shut down swathes of its economy for nearly three months when COVID-19 threatened to run out of control, forcing the government to borrow tens of billions of pounds to keep companies afloat and limit job losses.

Now, as business gradually restarts, Johnson is looking to move past criticism of his government's handling of the pandemic by spelling out his plan to repair the economic damage and reshape the country.

But his speech may be overshadowed by an announcement that the government is imposing a lockdown on the English city of Leicester, which has a much higher COVID-19 infection rate than anywhere else in the country.

"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," Johnson will say in a speech.

He will draw comparisons between his ambition and Former U.S. President Franklin D. Roosevelt's "New Deal" programme of the 1930s, which included job-creating public works projects to help the United States recover from the Great Depression.

However, Britain's recent history shows that infrastructure spending is difficult to deliver.

A new underground train line in central London is over budget and late, as is a north-south high speed rail link, whose predicted cost alone has risen to a reported 106 billion pounds ($130.22 billion), almost double the bill five years ago. After decades of discussing airport expansion at London Heathrow, the project remains mired in legal challenges.

Business welcomed the plans but Adam Marshall, director general of the British Chambers of Commerce, said "they must take shape on the ground swiftly".

Britain's main opposition Labour Party also said the government must do more to prevent job losses, which both the Bank of England and government budget forecasters have warned could grow as the government phases out temporary support measures for workers hit by lockdown measures.

The speech will announce that 5 billion pounds of investment in hospitals, schools, roads, and other projects will be accelerated to support jobs and fuel an "infrastructure revolution".

It is unclear if any new money is being committed, with finance minister Rishi Sunak to set out more details next week.

Johnson has vowed not to repeat the actions of previous Conservative-led governments who responded to the 2007-2009 financial crisis by cutting spending on public services to prioritise fiscal balance and debt reduction.

He was elected by a landslide in 2019 before the coronavirus struck, on a pledge to address imbalances across Britain and spend more on health, education and policing, testing the limits of his party's reputation for budgetary prudence.

"We will build build build," he will say according to extracts released by his office. "Build back better, build back greener, build back faster and to do that at the pace that this moment requires."

(Editing by Stephen Addison and Nick Macfie)

Shane Dawson Apologizes For Offensive Youtube Content

(This story has not been edited by NDTV staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

Comments

Related news

WHO Advance Team Arrives In China To Find Coronavirus Origin.

Two experts from the World Health Organization (WHO) have arrived in China for research on the source of the new coronavirus, the country's foreign ministry spokeswoman Hua Chunying confirmed on...

Hong Kong activist Nathan Law says he’s arrived in London after fleeing China.

Hong Kong pro-democracy activist Nathan Law said he had arrived in London after fleeing the former British colony where China has imposed a security law.

‘A system that didn’t hold up’: Families of Italy’s coronavirus victims seek answers.

Lawyers are filing 100 new cases Monday with Bergamo prosecutors investigating the outbreak, on top of 50 complaints lodged last month.

2 1

Top Trump Aide Warns Of «Strong Actions» Against TikTok, WeChat.

A top White House official said he expected President Trump to act firmly against the TikTok and WeChat social media apps, prompting an angry response from China on Monday.

Coronavirus Immunity May Disappear Within Months, New Study Suggests.

Patients who recover from coronavirus infections may lose their immunity to reinfection within months, according to research released on Monday that experts said could have a "significant" influence...

By continuing to browse World News (UAZMI), you acknowledge that you have read the Terms of Use and agree to the use of cookies