British Prime Minister Boris Johnson announced on Tuesday that the state will invest £ 5 billion (about $ 6.1 billion) in a major public works plan to boost the economy and jobs after the crisis caused by the coronavirus pandemic, ending a decade of adjustment in the United Kingdom.
In a speech in the town of Dudley, central England, Johnson compared his plan, which he called Project Speed, with the famous New Deal launched by former US President Franklin Roosevelt to reverse the effects of the Great Depression, in the decade of the 1930.
“We must use this moment (…) to plan our response and fix problems they were so brutally illuminated by the flash of Covid-19, “Johnson said of the disease caused by the new coronavirus, which has already killed nearly 48,000 people in his country.
The plan was announced the same day that the British Bureau of Statistics reported that the GDP of the United Kingdom had its biggest drop since 1979, falling by 2.2% in the first quarter of the year, two tenths more than in the previous calculation.
Unlike the previous conservative governments of David Cameron and George Osborne, Johnson had insisted in his campaign that his administration would not impose spending cuts while the economy was weak.
His plan supposes a greater intervention of the State to generate employmentpledging to inject billions of pounds into public projects such as schools, roads, railways and hospitals in what he called an “infrastructure revolution” in the short term.
The British Conservative leader stressed the need to get the UK back on its feet and unleash the potential of the world’s sixth national economy.
Of the total money announced for the plan, £ 1 billion will go to rebuilding schools; 1,500 million for the maintenance of hospitals, 100 million to build routes and another 900 million for municipalities England, among other items.
The premier also announced changes to the planning rules beginning in September so that builders can “demolish and rebuild” empty residential and commercial buildings and convert them into homes. Johnson also said that work will begin to see how tax land can be managed more effectively.
The plan was not well received by the opposition. Scotland’s Chief Minister Nicola Sturgeon called the announcement “extremely disappointing” and said he does not expect his country to receive any extra money as a result.
The opposition leader Labor Keir Starmer, claimed that Johnson’s plan “is not sufficient” to avoid a crisis of the loss of jobs that the pandemic will leave.
We are facing an economic crisis, the largest we have seen in a generation, and the recovery must coincide with that ”
Labor Keir Starmer
He argued that advertised equals less than £ 100 per person and it is a repetition of many promises and commitments already announced by Johnson in his campaign.
Meanwhile, just three days after the final de-escalation of the quarantine imposed on March 23 began, England faced new coronavirus spikes in several cities, including the main towns in London.
This could provoke more local confinements like the one arranged yesterday in the city of Leicester, according to a map of the presence of the virus published by a local British newspaper.
According to the data reported by the Daily Express newspaper, some 15 London boroughs and its suburban area began to register an increase in cases of coronaviruses, including Westminster, one of the largest, covering much of the center of the capital.
In the rest of England there are sprouts in cities such as Portsmouth, York, Windsor and Maidenhead, Milton Keynes, Sunderland, Plymouth and Suffolk.
Yesterday, Leicester became the first city in the UK to be subjected to local confinement, after detecting a new outbreak of the new coronavirus.
The government immediately ordered the closure of schools and shops as well as a ban on non-essential travel to and from Leicester.
Coronavirus cases in that city with more than 300,000 inhabitants increased in almost 950 in the last 15 days and the infection rate in the last seven days was 135 cases per 100,000, according to the municipality of Leicester.
Last week, Johnson announced a reduction in the two-meter social distancing rule and the rOpening of pubs, restaurants, hotels, hairdressers, cinemas and museums from July 4th.
According to the premier, the United Kingdom remains on alert, but does not believe that there is currently a risk of a second peak of infections that could collapse hospitals.
Total deaths in the UK from the coronavirus rose to 43,730 after adding another 155 in the last 24 hours, The Ministry of Health reported today.
In the same period, 689 new infections, with which the accumulated is already more than 313,000.