The Prime Minister, Boris Johnson, will today confirm that he is going to ensure that the UK’s construction industry will drive the nation’s economic recovery as things return to ‘normal’ following the Covid-19 lockdown.
Boris Johnson likened his government’s plan to US president Franklin D Roosevelt’s New Deal programme in the 1930, which used public works construction to get America over the great depression of the 1920s.
In a speech today in the West Midlands, the prime minister will speak of his commitment to ‘build, build, build’ to fuel economic recovery across the UK.
In extracts released by Downing Street ahead of the event, he is quoted as saying: “It sounds positively Rooseveltian. It sounds like a New Deal. All I can say is that if so, then that is how it is meant to sound and to be, because that is what the times demand. A government that is powerful and determined and that puts its arms around people at a time of crisis. This is a government that is wholly committed not just to defeating coronavirus but to using this crisis finally to tackle this country’s great unresolved challenges of the last three decades. “To build the homes, to fix the NHS, to tackle the skills crisis, to mend the indefensible gap in opportunity and productivity and connectivity between the regions of the UK. To unite and level up. To that end we will build, build, build. Build back better, build back greener, build back faster and to do that at the pace that this moment requires.”
The prime minister will say that £5bn of capital investment projects is being brought forward in England, including:
• £1.5bn this year for hospital maintenance and expansion
• £100m this year for 29 projects in the road network, plus £10m for development work to unblock the Manchester rail bottleneck, which will begin this year