Britain PM to unveil new infrastructure plan to revive economy in face of pandemic

WION Web Team London, London, UK (Great Britain) Jun 28, 2020, 05.54 PM(IST)

Coronavirus in UK Photograph:( Reuters )

Story highlights

In an interview with the Mail on Sunday newspaper, Johnson said there would be no return to controversial austerity policies practised by his Conservative Party over the past decade. He said he was going to act fast “to build our way back to health”.

Britain Prime Minister Boris Johnson will launch a plan this week to get his country “moving again” after the coronavirus lockdown, when the government will set out measures to boost infrastructure construction.

In an interview with the Mail on Sunday newspaper, Johnson said there would be no return to controversial austerity policies practised by his Conservative Party over the past decade. He said he was going to act fast “to build our way back to health”.

Johnson is expected to outline plans in a speech on Tuesday, already dubbed "Project Speed", with a pledge to fast-track building projects such as hospitals, schools, housing, and road and rail infrastructure, part of efforts to try to stem a fall in support for his government.

The British leader has been criticised for his response to the coronavirus crisis, with opposition parties and some scientists saying the government was too slow to bring in a lockdown, too slow to carry out widespread testing and not clear in its messaging.

But Johnson, who won a large majority at last year’s election, hopes to revive his fortunes by returning to his pledges to “level up” Britain by focusing spending on traditional Labour-supporting areas that backed his Conservative Party.

Some scientists fear that Britain is on course for a second wave of coronavirus, not helped by some people holding parties and large gatherings after Johnson announced a further easing of England’s lockdown in early July, when pubs and restaurants can reopen.

Chancellor (finance minister) Rishi Sunak is expected to make an economic statement next month on spending plans.

(with inputs from agencies)