UK Politics: Johnson pledges 'no return to austerity' for UK

The UK could have it's own New Deal to address the economic impact of coronavirus
Boris Johnson has pledged the UK will build towards economic recovery
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A 'Rooseveltian' approach to rebuilding the UK economy has been proposed by prime minister Boris Johnson. Tradefair brings you the latest from UK politics...

"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."

- Boris Johnson

Prime minister Boris Johnson has given reassurance to the UK public that the impact of the coronavirus pandemic will not result in a return to austerity.

He made his comments in an interview with the Mail on Sunday and argued the measures that have been employed to protect the UK economy during recent months will help to ensure a swift "bounce back" in economic performance.

Building for a better future

Figures published this month by the Office for National Statistics show the UK's economy fell by a staggering 20.4% in April. However, Johnson has maintained that the way forward will not be a return to austerity, but a "building blitz" that will pave the way for a stronger future.

"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," Johnson said.

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

The development of essential infrastructure will form a major part of the government's plans to stabilise and rebuild the economy, with new roads, hospitals, schools and housing developments all included in his framework for recovery.

In what will be a stark contrast to the measures taken in the wake of the 2008 financial meltdown, the PM likened his approach to "doubling down on levelling up" in reference to his party's manifesto pledge to support a stronger economic future for the whole of the UK.

Looking to the past for inspiration

Johnson believes a 'Rooseveltian' approach to recovery will leverage the best results in the years ahead, highlighting former US president Franklin D Roosevelt's New Deal - which supported economic recovery in the US following the Great Depression - in a radio interview with Times Radio this morning (June 29).

In it, he stated that going back to austerity "will be a mistake".

Referencing the prime minister's comments, a Downing Street spokesperson told the Metro: "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."

Bump in markets in early trading

UK markets appear to have responded positively to the prime minister's upbeat remarks, as the FTSE 100 witnessed minor gains (up 0.4%) in trading first thing on Monday.

It means the UK's blue chip market has resisted the downward pull of less-than-positive news in the US, where several states have returned to lockdown following a surge in coronavirus cases.

A second wave of infection that results in further economic impact for the US would be bad news for the global economy and is likely to impact the trading outlook in the weeks ahead. However, with cases in the UK continuing to fall, Johnson's optimism could prove decisive in reassuring investors.

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