UK PM vowed to “use this moment” to fix longstanding economic problems and promised a £5bn “new deal” to build homes and infrastructure.
In a wide-ranging speech in Dudley, in the West Midlands, Mr Johnson vowed to “build, build, build” to soften the “economic aftershock” of coronavirus.
He said the government wanted to continue with its plans to “level up” – one of its main slogans of last December’s election – as “too many parts” of the country had been “left behind, neglected, unloved”.
Infrastructure projects in England would be “accelerated” and there would be investment in new academy schools, green buses and new broadband, the PM added.
Projects in the £5bn investment plan include:
- £1.5bn for hospital maintenance and building, eradicating mental health dormitories and improving A&E capacity – the government said this is “new” money in addition to £1.1bn in its Spring Budget
- £100m for 29 road projects including bridge repairs in Sandwell and improving the A15 in the Humber region – this money had already been announced
- Over £1bn for new school buildings, as announced on Monday – this cash comes from the government’s existing infrastructure plan
- £12bn to help build 180,000 new affordable homes for ownership and rent over the next eight years – brings together three pots of money already announced by previous Tory governments and Mr Johnson’s administration
Other projects announced in the government’s Spring Budget, which will now be accelerated, include:
- £83m for maintenance of prisons and youth offender facilities, and £60m for temporary prison places.
- £900m for “shovel ready” local projects in England this year and in 2021
- £500,000 – £1m for each area in the towns fund to spend on improvements to parks, high street and transport
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