Johnson’s new package of measures is intended to meet the unprecedented challenge the pandemic has posed to the economy, and restore the government’s standing. But with unemployment at almost three million and expected to rise, and the economy having contracted by 20 percent in April as the country went into lockdown, he has a mountain to climb.
Johnson was to announce a £1 billion school-rebuilding plan Monday (1.1 bn euros, $1.2 bn), the first plank of a major infrastructure spending programme.
In a statement, Johnson said the schools funding would finance the first 50 projects of a 10-year school rebuilding strategy.
“All children deserve the best possible start in life — regardless of their background or where they live,” said Johnson, who was educated at the elite Eton school.
Then, on Tuesday he is expected to make a speech further outlining fresh infrastructure spending in a policy move already dubbed “Project Speed”.
In an interview published in a newspaper, Johnson pledged to build new roads, schools and hospitals to kick-start a British recovery. Britain would “absolutely not” return to the controversial austerity policies practised by his Conservative Party over the past decade, he told the newspaper. “This has been a huge, huge shock to the country but we’re going to bounce back very well,” said the Prime Minister, referring to the effects of the coronavirus crisis. “We want to build our way back to health.”
The next major economic step for the British economy takes place on July 4 when England will reopen pubs, restaurants, hairdressers, museums and cinemas, all of which have been closed since the end of March.