UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson is expected to announce a major new initiative to deliver “jobs, skills and infrastructure” to Britain as its economy reels from the coronavirus crisis.
In a speech in the West Midlands on Tuesday, Johnson will set out the plan to invest five billion pounds (approximately $6.1 billion) for infrastructure projects, according to a Downing Street statement previewing the prime minister’s address.
Johnson is expected to say: “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 … 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.”
US President Franklin Roosevelt’s New Deal has traditionally been credited with helping lift the nation out of the Great Depression. When Roosevelt took office in 1933, he pushed through a sprawling set of laws and public works programs geared to revive the economy.
The UK government investment is expected to improve hospital maintenance, eradicate mental health dormitories, build hospitals and improve emergency room capacity, the statement says. The money will also be spent on improving the road and rail network, repairing bridges, upgrading schools and maintenance of prisons.