Boris Johnson promised to shake Britain’s economy out of its coronavirus-induced crisis on Tuesday, by fast-tracking infrastructure investment and slashing property planning rules. As Britain emerges from lockdown, Johnson is looking to move past criticism of his government’s handling of the pandemic with a plan to repair the economic damage and reshape the country. Returning to the promises he made at last year’s election, he is targeting much of the spending at those areas in northern and central England, where many traditionally opposition Labour-supporters voted for the governing Conservatives.
But BBC’s Laura Kuenssberg asked: “A very long list of promises and ambitions but the economy is falling off a cliff and what the Government has promised today amounts to less than £100 per person in order to try and fix the very many things you have talked about.
“How does that remotely match your rhetoric?”
Mr Johnson replied: “You’re absolutely right to say the initial package we’re talking about is £5billion and that’s not an insignificant sum but that’s part of a massive programme overall.
“There’s a reason we can do this now, as I say, we’ve managed the economy prudently, it’s the right time to borrow.
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“What I’m saying is this is the moment to make that big long-term stake and backing of Britain because that will deliver long-term productivity gains.
“The gains that will deliver tax revenues that we’re also going to need down the line.
“We can balance this over the cycle but we must make the investment now.”
More to follow…