Starmer warns Johnson: ‘do not fail Britain’
Sir Keir Starmer: ‘there has been a lost decade’
Labour leader Sir Keir Starmer is warning Boris Johnson not to repeat the mistakes of the past by failing to fulfil pledges on the economy.
Ahead of the Prime Minister’s announcement on Tuesday on planning Britain’s route to recovery, the Labour leader says there has been too much talk and not enough action.
Sir Keir cites the Tories’ 2015 ‘Starter Homes’ initiative that promised 200,000 affordable homes but “failed to produce a single property”.
Mr Johnson will put a £250 billion investment in infrastructure – known as Project Speed – at the heart of his plans for economic recovery. He has promised that Britain will not to return to the austerity of the past.
Sir Keir said the country will expect Mr Johnson to develop a plan that works for the whole of Britain.
Our recovery from the coronavirus crisis needs to match the scale of the challenge– Sir Keir Starmer
He said: “For much of the country, the Tories’ record on building and investment has been a lost decade.
“Much-hyped plans such as the Starter Homes initiative – which built zero houses despite having £2.3 billion allocated to it – barely even made it beyond the press release. It’s been talk, talk, talk rather than build, build, build.
“Our recovery from the coronavirus crisis needs to match the scale of the challenge. It must be built on solid foundations. It has to work for the whole country and end the deep injustices across the country.
“We are on the cusp of one of the biggest economic crises we have ever seen. The Government must immediately prioritise protecting people’s lives and livelihoods.
“That’s why Labour has called for a ‘Back to Work’ Budget that has a laser-like focus on one thing – jobs, jobs, jobs.”
The Labour leader’s call comes as private sector activity in the quarter to June fell at the fastest pace (down 71%) since the launch of the CBI Growth Indicator in October 2003.
New figures show manufacturing output and distribution sales down by 57%.
Survey respondents expect a slower pace of decline over the next quarter, down 46%.
The fall in activity is set to ease in manufacturing, business & professional services and consumer services particularly.