The British Prime Minister Boris Johnson announced a billion-dollar stimulus package on Tuesday to boost the economy hit by the corona pandemic. In the short term, the government plans to invest £ 5bn (around € 5.5bn) in the construction and renovation of hospitals, roads and schools, as Johnson announced in a speech in the city of Dudley in Central England. His program for new jobs is “building, building, building,” said Johnson.
In the next eight years, £ 12 billion (currently the equivalent of around € 13.1 billion) will flow into the creation of affordable housing. The government is “determined to use this crisis to address the country’s major unresolved challenges of the past three decades,” said the conservative politician.
Inspired by Franklin D. Roosevelt
Johnson claimed to be inspired by the “New Deal” of the former US President Franklin D. Roosevelt. In the 1930s, he launched the “New Deal” in response to the global economic crisis at the time and created, among other things, an extensive social security system.
In Great Britain the corona crisis caused economic output to plummet in the first three months of the year. The decline was more pronounced than previously thought, but was not as severe as the economic downturn in the euro zone. In the first quarter, the gross domestic product (GDP) shrank by 2.2 percent in a quarterly comparison, the national statistics office ONS said on Tuesday after another estimate. Analysts had only expected economic output to decline by 2.0 percent, confirming the first estimate.
The slump is the biggest setback for the British economy since the severe financial and economic crisis in 2008 and 2009. However, the decline was noticeably weaker than in the euro zone. Economic output in the first quarter fell by 3.6 percent.