The Prime Minister announced his “ambitious” recovery plan for the UK following the COVID-19 pandemic, vowing to tackle long-term economic issues and pledging £5bn towards new homes and infrastructure.
Speaking in Dudley, in the West Midlands, Johnson talked of “accelerating” and intensifying infrastructure projects in areas of the country that he felt had been left behind. The aim should be to “build, build, build”, said the PM, to soften the blow of the coronavirus.
The £5bn investment plan hopes to include among its projects, improvements in hospital facilities, new academy schools, 29 road network projects, green buses, 180,000 affordable homes, and new broadband.
Johnson has dubbed his plan a “New Deal”, to reference American President Franklin D Roosevelt’s New Deal that led the US out of the Great Depression of the 1930s.
However, Labour leader Sir Keir Starmer is not convinced, claiming it’s not really much of a deal and there’s nothing new about it. Starmer says that Labour will not argue against a recovery plan, but he feels it simply “is not enough”. Facing what he calls the biggest economic crisis in a generation, he feels the main focus has to be on saving jobs.