Boris Johnson is preparing for economic recovery as local restructuring begins

On Tuesday, Prime Minister Boris Johnson promised an “infrastructure revolution” inspired by the US “New Deal” to revive an economy hard hit by the Covid-19 pandemic.

“Build, Build, Build”. Prime Minister Boris Johnson on Tuesday (June 30) promised an “infrastructure revolution” inspired by the US “New Deal” to revive an economy hard hit by the coronavirus pandemic, which forced a first local rebuild.

Despite its decision to close unnecessary stores and schools in Leicester, in the center ofEngland, the Conservative government remains determined to restart operations in the rest of the country, the most deprived in Europe of Covid-19 with more than 43,000 dead.

“Build, Build, Build”

After sitting on a construction helmet at a construction site, Boris Johnson developed his vision of lifting the economy from the abyss, with a £ 5 billion ($ 5.5 billion) plan in infrastructure investment summed up by his slogan: “Construction, construction, construction”.

“It sounds like a New Deal (…) because that’s what the times demanded: a strong and determined government that puts its protective arms around the people in times of crisis,” he said, referring to the so-called “New Deal” policy from Franklin D. Roosevelt, who had made it possible to revive the American economy through demand and government intervention after the Great Depression of the 1930s.

“This moment gives us a much greater opportunity to be radical and do things differently,” he said in Dudley (central England).

He did not go into the details of this plan, which includes investments especially in the construction and renovation of schools, hospitals and roads.

Even before his speech, on the basis of elements published in the British press, the Labor opposition had criticized an unambitious plan given the scale of the crisis, while Greenpeace did not consider it up to the climate challenges.

“Roosevelt’s” New Deal “has created mega projects like the Hoover Dam – while the prime minister’s list of priority projects includes repairing a bridge at Sandwell,” the Financial Times said.

In the first quarter, marked by just a week of containment, the UK gross domestic product fell by 2.2%, infinitely since 1979, and the International Monetary Fund predicts a historic collapse of more than 10% for 2020.

While UK debt has already exceeded 100% of GDP during this crisis, the issue of funding remains unresolved.

In line with his election promises from last fall, Boris Johnson refused to return to austerity, saying “the world has changed since 2008”. “I’m not a communist, but I think it’s also the government’s job to create the conditions for the market economy,” he said.

Leicester reconfigured

This recovery plan comes at a time when the health crisis is experiencing a first overhaul that led the government to announce fundraising efforts Tuesday night in Leicester and its environs, in an area representing more than 600,000 residents.

UK: tightening of Leicester containment following an outbreak of Covid-19 © France 24 screenshot

United Kingdom: tightening of Leicester containment following an outbreak of Covid-19

This news affected a cold shower a few days before opening, scheduled for Saturday in the rest of England, by a large number of stores closed since the end of March, especially pubs and hairdressers. In the city it was received in a mixed way.

“It’s bossy!” stormed Will Horspool, 35, interviewed by AFP, who had already reserved a table at a pub for the next week after reopening scheduled for Saturday.

“People don’t take the situation seriously, they don’t wear masks in the stores,” said Manuela, a 30-year-old nurse.

Before the press, Mayor Peter Soulsby acknowledged that the announced measures were tougher than expected.

“I am obviously worried about the well-being of the city and the health of the population, but also for the economy,” he said, urging the government to provide more financial support to his municipality.

With AFP