BORIS Johnson has today promised thousands of discounted homes for first-time buyers in a multi-billion pound package to help Britain "build, build build" our way out of the coronavirus crisis.
In a major speech in Dudley this morning the PM vowed to get the country back on track with a "New Deal" programme of building and investment – and fast tracking £5billion of spending dubbed Project Speed.
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The PM vowed a Roosevelt-style plan to pick up the country and get it going again after an even bigger crisis than 2008.
And he announced what he said was "the most radical reforms to our planning system since the Second World War" by cutting red tape to revitalise our high streets.
He told voters in the Blue Wall seats the Government is on a “mission to unite and level up” the UK.
Alongside his programme he revealed £12billion of funding for a homes plan that will support up to 180,000 new affordable homes for ownership and rent over the next 8 years.
Included in that will be a 1,500 unit pilot of ‘First Homes’ to people buying a home for the first time – at a 30% discount.
The huge discounts will stay and be passed down the generations, with the idea that it keeps the homes affordable for years to come.
- New building rules will allow empty buildings to be transformed into new homes without the red tape – known as 'Project Speed'
- Old retail buildings can be turned into cafés or other services without requiring planning permission – in a boost for Britain's high streets
- £1.5billion will be spent on hospital repairs
- £1bn to fund 10-year school rebuilding programme and £560m school upgrades and repairs
- Some £900million will be allocated to “shovel ready” projects, mainly in the Midlands and North
- Vowed to plant 30,000 hectares of trees
The PM said today: "We will build fantastic new homes on brownfields sites and other areas, with better transport and other infrastructure, that could be suitable and right for development.
"We will address that intergenerational injustice and help young people get people the housing ladder the way their parents and grandparents could.
"We will build better, we will build greener, and faster."
As he revealed his plan to help Britain get back on its feet, he said:"It is time not just for a new deal, but a fair deal for the British people.
"This government is determined to use this crisis finally to tackle this country’s unresolved challenges of the last three decades.
This government is determined to use this crisis finally to tackle this country’s unresolved challenges of the last three decades.
"We will build the homes, fix the NHS, solve social care, to tackle the skills crisis, to mend the indefensible gap in opportunity, productivity and connectivity between the regions of the UK. To unite, and level up.
"To that end, we will build, build, build. Build back better, build back greener, build back faster.
He added: "This is a programme for jobs, jobs, jobs – because it's by building, building, building… that we will get the jobs this nation needs."
He vowed again not to return to the years of "what people called austerity" seen in previous administrations to cope with a financial crash.
"The world has moved on since 2008," he added.
It is time not just for a new deal, but a fair deal for the British people.
But he warned that the coronvirus was still "circling like a shark in the water" and Britain must continue to work to keep it at bay.
"We are preparing now – slowly, cautiously – to come out of hibernation.
"We cannot continue simply to be prisoners of this crisis."
The PM also warned that there would be a rocky economic time ahead and jobs would be lost.
"We know in our hearts that the furloughing cannot go on forever," he said.
"We also know that jobs people had in January are not coming back, at least not in that form."
But the PM refused to put a number on how many jobs might go in the end.
And he stressed that he was "not a communist" but said he thinks it is the job of Government to create the conditions for a free economy which can create more jobs.
Boris refused to rule out tax rises to pay for the crisis in future, and his big building scheme.
"I remain absolutely certain we need to make sure we keep the tax burden in so far as we possibly can is reasonable and we continue to be a competitive market economy.," he said.
"You know where my instincts are and what I would like to do, they are of course to cut taxes where ever you possibly can.
"The difficulty is we have a generational challenge now. We have to take our country forward."
But he stressed that Britain must remain competitive as it exited the EU, to keep businesses in the country and stop them from going elsewhere.
"You need to make sure as we leave the EU, the fiscal environment has to be as competitive as it possibly can be," he said.
"I want brilliant British ideas being translated into brilliant British companies."
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