Boris Johnson promises building blitz of hospitals and schools to get economy moving

Boris Johnson has declared he is as “fit as a butcher’s dog” as he prepares to announce a major spending spree to fund plans to kickstart the UK economy.

The Prime Minister will use a speech on Tuesday to announce a taskforce that will fast-track building houses, schools, roads and prisons.

He said the UK is about to have the “thunderclap of economic consequences” caused by the coronavirus pandemic.

The PM is said to have been inspired to create ‘Project Speed’ by how quickly the NHS Nightingale hospitals were created earlier on in the pandemic.

Speaking to the Mail on Sunday, the PM said: “This has been a huge, huge shock to the country but we’re going to bounce back very well.

“We want to build our way back to health.

“If Covid was a lightning flash, we’re about to have the thunderclap of the economic consequences. We’re going to be ready.”

Chancellor Rishi Sunak will head up the taskforce, and the group will be told there are “no excuses for delays” to building programmes.

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With 2.8 million people currently out of work, reports suggest a further one million people could become jobless if further Government support is not announced by August.

Unemployment levels could soar to levels not seen since the 1980s according to fresh House of Commons Library analysis, The Observer reports.

The Government hopes a building boom will boost jobs as it looks to drive growth after the pandemic.

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A Downing Street spokesman said: “The coronavirus response has shown that it doesn’t have to take years to get essential projects off the ground – the Nightingale hospitals and ventilator challenge were up and running in a matter of weeks.

“As we recover from the pandemic we must apply that same urgency to the major projects at the foundations of this country and get them done right, to truly level up opportunity across the UK.

“There’s now no excuse for delays. Infrastructure has the power to rebuild and repair our country – and we will do it better, faster and more strategically than before.”



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