BORIS JOHNSON outlined his Government’s plan to rebuild the UK’s economy following the “disaster” of the coronavirus crisis, as he warned Britons will face “some bumpy times”.
Appearing on Times Radio on Monday morning, Boris Johnson said there will be “some bumpy times” but the UK will get through the economic fallout of the coronavirus pandemic “very, very well indeed”. The Prime Minister said it was time for a “Roosevelty approach” as he announced the Government will invest in infrastructure, transport and education to rebuild the economy.
He said: “I certainly think people can feel instinctively that it’s going to be tough to come through this.
“We’ve seen a big fall in our GDP and everybody understands as we come out of it there are going to be some bumpy times but the UK is an amazingly dynamic, resilient economy and we’re going to come through it very, very well indeed.”
He added “we can’t just now step back” from supporting the economy.
“The Government will remain very very much engaged with people, with businesses helping everybody to get through this.
“We had to put our arms around the UK economy, we had to do the coronavirus job retention scheme, the furlough scheme, all sorts of amazing loans, bounce-back loans and so on, to help businesses, we can’t just now step back.
“So what we’re going to be doing in the next few months is really doubling down on our initial agenda which was all about investment, if you remember, in infrastructure, in education, in technology, to bring the country together,” the Prime Minister said.
The Prime Minister said the coronavirus crisis had been a “disaster” and an “absolute nightmare” for the country adding that he wanted to set out a plan to “bounce forward” following the pandemic.
“This has been a disaster, let’s not mince our words, this has been an absolute nightmare for the country,” he said.
“The country has gone through a profound shock. But in those moments you have the opportunity to change and to do things better.
“We really want to build back better, to do things differently, to invest in infrastructure, transport, broadband – you name it.”
Mr Johnson said he worries about coronavirus deaths and infection rates every day.
But he told Times Radio that it was crucial to be ready to crack down on local flare-ups using a “whack-a-mole” strategy.
When asked if he was still worried that total deaths and the infection rate remained too high, he added: “Every day I worry.
“Local hospital admissions are coming down, so are the death numbers.
“They are much, much lower than they were a few weeks ago and that is encouraging.
“But the crucial thing is to make sure we are ready to crack down on local flare-ups. We have a whack-a-mole strategy.”
The Prime Minister again insisted it was not the right time to hold an inquiry into the handling of the coronavirus crisis.
He said: “We owe it to all those who have died, all those who have suffered to look at exactly what went wrong and when.
“I totally understand that and we will.
“I happen to think that the moment is not right now, in the middle of really getting things going, still dealing with the pandemic, when everybody is flat out.
“I don’t think the moment is right now for consecrating a huge amount of official time to all that, but we are learning lessons the whole time and we obviously will draw the right conclusions for the future.”