Prime Minister Boris Johnson vowed to bounce Britain’s economy out of its coronavirus-induced crisis on Tuesday by fast-tracking foundation investment and cutting property planning rules.
As Britain arises from lockdown, Johnson is looking to push past critique of his government’s treatment of the pandemic with a plan to restore the economic loss and reshape the country.
“We cannot continue simply to be prisoners of the crisis,” Johnson said. “We must work fast because we’ve already seen the vertiginous drop in GDP and we know that people are worried now about their jobs and their businesses.”
His word, given at a college in the central English town of Dudley, was clouded by the announcement of a new lockdown in Leicester, where COVID-19 infections are rising.
Nonetheless, with a persuasion to “build, build, build”, Johnson declared plans to advance government infrastructure spending and cut through the red tape around planning to make private sector property development easier.
“We will build the hospitals, build the schools, the colleges. But we will also build back greener and build a more beautiful Britain,” he said.
Promising not to cut spending, he compared his plan to then U.S. President Franklin D. Roosevelt’s 1930s “New Deal”, which included job-creating public works projects to help the United States recover from the Great Depression.
“It sounds like a prodigious amount of government intervention sounds like a new deal … If that is so, then that is how it’s meant to sound,” Johnson said.