Announcement this week

Johnson plans ‘speedy’ rebuilding of economy

Boris Johnson

Frustrated: Boris Johnson wants a speedy recovery

Boris Johnson will put a £250 billion investment in infrastructure at the heart of his plans for economic recovery this week and promise that Britain will not to return to the austerity of the past.

He will pledge spending on hospitals, roads and schools as the country emerges from the coronavirus pandemic and a record 20.4% slump in economic output in April.

The Prime Minister will announce his plans, known as Project Speed, on Tuesday with a pledge to “build our way back to health”.

He is said to be frustrated by the slow pace of delivering major projects and believes that if the Nightingale hospitals can be built and opened within weeks there is no reason why workers cannot “rebuild and repair” the country faster than ever before.

He told the Mail on Sunday: “We’re going to make sure that we have plans to help people whose old jobs are not there any more to get the opportunities they need.

“We are absolutely not going back to the austerity of 10 years ago.”

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A new Infrastructure Delivery Taskforce, led by Chancellor Rishi Sunak, will look at major projects in the pipeline and remove “bottlenecks at every step of development and delivery”.

A team of high-flyers will be appoint to the taskforce to tear up outdated practices which slow the planning process.

No 10 hopes a building boom will boost jobs and improve connectivity for cities, towns and villages.

It will be for the Scottish Government to respond to the plans, assuming it benefits from the consequentials of the spending plans.

Former PM Sir John Major yesterday said more borrowing would be necessary to get the economy back on its feet, adding that tax rises during the current situation would be a “mistake”.

Leicester may go into local lockdown

Leicester could be the first British city to go into a local lockdown after a spike in coronavirus cases.

The city could face stricter lockdown rules as soon as next week if the Covid-19 situation doe not come under control.

There is said to have been a surge in cases in the city, which is home to around 340,000 people. The city had 271 Covid-19 deaths up to June 12.

Health Secretary Matt Hancock had been examining legal aspects of the shutdown after 658 cases were recorded in the Leicester area in the two weeks to 16 June.

Prime Minister Boris Johnson said last week: “Wherever there is a local outbreak, whether in Ashfield or Angelsea, we will empower the local authorities to quarantine everyone who has got it, test back to the moment of infection and make the necessary closures,’ he told the Mail on Sunday.

The Mayor of Leicester, Sir Peter Soulsby, has said there was no immediate threat of a lockdown and that suggestions it was on the cards were ‘speculative’.

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