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Boris Johnson’s £5bn plan for UK’s post-coronavirus recovery revealed

He’s set to outline his plan.

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The Prime Minister is planning on pledging £5 billion in a bid to create jobs, skills and infrastructure for the UK post-coronavirus.

Tonight, Mr Johnson is expected to deliver a speech in the West Midlands where he will outline the government’s post-covid ‘build build build’ plan. 

Part of the plan sees a £5bn ‘New Deal’ pledge, which promises to deliver jobs, skills and infrastructure to the UK. 

The UK has been the hardest hit of the G7 major industrialised nations by the virus, with the economy shrinking by 20.4% in April.

It is expected there will be £1.5bn set aside for hospital maintenance, eradicating mental health dormitories, enabling hospital building, and improving A&E capacity.

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According to the BBC, Boris Johnson is set to use the coronavirus ‘crisis to tackle the country’s great unresolved challenges of the last three decades’. 

The PM added: ‘To build the homes, to fix the NHS, to tackle the skills crisis, to mend the indefensible gap in opportunity and productivity and connectivity between the regions of the UK.

“Too many parts of this country have felt left behind, neglected, unloved, as though someone had taken a strategic decision that their fate did not matter as much as the metropolis.

“And so I want you to know that this government not only has a vision to change this country for the better, we have a mission to unite and level up.” 

Some of the projects expected to be outlined include:

  • £560m and £200m for repairs and upgrades to schools and colleges
  • £1bn will be set aside for funding of ten-year school rebuilding that will start 2020-21 with work beginning September 2021
  • 101 selected towns will be given deals of between £500k and £1m to spend on projects such as park, high street and transport improvements
  • £142m will be spent on upgrading around 100 courts and £83m will be set aside for prison maintenance and youth offender facilities.
  •  £900m for ‘shovel ready’ local growth projects and £96m investments in town centres and high streets

In terms of investment in the environment, Boris Johnson has called for a ‘build back greener’ approach, however, environmentalists have considered the response of his pre-released summary as inadequate.

Boris claims he will plant 75,000 acres of trees every single year by 2025.

Furthermore, he is expected to promise £40m to boost local conservation projects which in turn will create 3,000 jobs such as Conservation Rangers and safeguard a further 2,000.

According to reports, Boris is expected to say: “Too many parts of this country have felt left behind, neglected, unloved, as though someone had taken a strategic decision that their fate did not matter as much as the metropolis.

“And so I want you to know that this government not only has a vision to change this country for the better, we have a mission to unite and level up- the mission on which we were elected last year.”

Director of Northern Powerhouse Partnership, Henri Murison, said: “The Prime Minister in his speech tomorrow will join those of us including his Chancellor, our Metro Mayors and Northern business leaders who believe it is vital to put front and centre the work to level up and unite the country in the recovery.

“The scale of ambition of this ‘Roosevelt’s New Deal’ cannot merely be rhetoric, but must also be met by the full commitment of necessary public and private resources.

“The £10m towards completing the Northern Hub in Manchester will help curtail delays for trains crossing West to East as far as Newcastle and Hull.

“But there is a need to accelerate projects like the TransPennine Route Upgrade electrification and start building HS2 from Leeds to the Midlands, including related upgrades and the new Northern Powerhouse Rail line through Bradford.

“£900m for shovel-ready projects is not enough for the number of jobs which could be generated by accelerating delivery in our cities and wider regions across the North alone, which is why releasing local investment capacity of up to £5bn at the local level is so necessary.

“History teaches us that the New Deal only worked because the scale of its aspiration was met by spending on the ground to match.

“If this is a start in that direction and not the limit of what is to be built then it is to be welcomed.

“Otherwise, the Deal will not meet the promises made of closing the North-South divide made previously by the Prime Minister when he first took up his office.”

Boris Johnson is expected to make the speech today, June 30th. 

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Boris Johnson reveals plan to offer all adults booster jabs by the end of January

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The government plans on offering all adults booster vaccines by the end of January, Boris Johnson has revealed today.

The Prime Minister spoke at a Downing Street conference this afternoon where he announced the planned booster rollout will take place across 1,500 pharmacy sites across England in age order. 

Over 400 military personnel will help with the rollout, Johnson added.

Noting that it’s ‘time for another Great British vaccination effort’, Johnson said: “The target we’ve set ourselves is to offer a booster to everyone eligible by the end of January.

“As with the first jabs, we’ll be working through people by age group going down in five year bands, because it’s vital that the older and more clinically vulnerable get that added protection first.”

The Prime Minister stressed that even those who had their second jab over three months ago should wait until the NHS contacts them about a booster appointment.

This announcement comes as face masks are made compulsory once again in all shops and on public transport.

The government made the decision as part of its response to the new Omicron variant, which is said to be ‘more transmissible and have more mutations which could weaken the effect of vaccines and natural immunity.’ 

The change in rules was announced by the Prime Minister after cases of the new variant were detected at several locations across the UK. 

The Health Secretary Sajid Javid confirmed yesterday that all adults will be offered a COVID-19 booster vaccine as part of a reaching expansion of the jabs programme to deal with the potential impact of the new variant.

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Child abusers could face mandatory life sentences under government-backed law

Child abusers are sentenced to a maximum of ten years behind bars under the current law

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People who abuse children could be handed mandatory life sentences under new plans backed by the government. 

The Police, Crime, Sentencing and Courts Bill is currently going through parliament, and could see an increase in maximum punishments for several child cruelty offences.

Tougher planned sentences could also mean that anyone who causes or allows the death of a child or vulnerable adult in their care will face a maximum sentence of life imprisonment – as it stands, child abusers can only face a maximum of ten years behind bars.

The changes, known as Tony’s Law, follow a campaign by MP Tom Tugendhat and the adoptive family of seven-year-old Tony Hudgell, who had to have both his legs amputated in 2017 as a result of abuse suffered at the hands of his birth parents.

Tony was attacked as a baby and was left with broken fingers and toes, plus torn ligaments in his legs. He was left untreated and in agony for ten days, and eventually had to have both legs amputated.

His birth parents were sentenced to the current maximum jail term of 10 years. 

In a statement, Tony’s adoptive mother Paula Hudgell said: “We are delighted that Tony’s Law is being backed by the Government. It’s been our hope since those who abused our son were jailed in 2018 that more could be done to protect other children, the most vulnerable members of our society.

@grant_durr / Unsplash

“I can’t thank the public enough for the support they have shown through this nearly four-year campaign, but especially thanks to Tom Tugendhat who has worked tirelessly with me, also my friend Julia Roberts, a court reporter and my friends and family.

“It was definitely a team effort.”

Deputy Prime Minister, Lord Chancellor and Secretary of State for Justice, Dominic Raab said the changes were needed because ‘the law must provide maximum protection to the most vulnerable and no-one is more vulnerable than a young child’. 

He added: “I pay tribute to the courage of young Tony Hudgell and his adoptive parents, Paula and Mark.”

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New Covid-19 Rules: Everything you need to know as masks become compulsory in shops and on transport

The new rules will come into place tomorrow at 4

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Mika Baumeister / Unsplash & Nickolay Romensky / Flickr

From tomorrow, November 30th, the use of face masks and coverings will once again be compulsory in shops and on public transport.

The government made the decision as part of its response to the new Omicron variant, which is said to be ‘more transmissible and have more mutations which could weaken the effect of vaccines and natural immunity.’ 

The change in rules was announced by Prime Minister Boris Johnson after cases of the new variant were detected at several locations across the UK. The Health Secretary Sajid Javid gave more detail yesterday, November 28th, saying the masks rule would apply from 4am on Tuesday

Here’s everything you need to know:

Where will face masks be compulsory after November 30th? 

Face masks and coverings will be mandatory in all shops and on all forms of public transport.

A statement from the Government says: “From 4am Tuesday November 30th, face coverings will be compulsory in shops and other settings such as banks, post offices and hairdressers, as well as on public transport unless individuals are exempt from doing so.”

However, all hospitality will be exempt from the rule change, with the Prime Minister saying further details would be outlined by the Health Secretary ‘in the course of the next day or so’. 

Will face masks be compulsory in schools?

While staff and secondary school students are being ‘strongly advised’ to wear face masks in communal areas from Monday, the rule won’t be mandatory in schools

Education Secretary Nadhim Zahawi recommends that staff, visitors and pupils in Year 7 and above should wear masks in communal areas in schools, colleges and universities such as corridors, canteens and halls.

@arturorey / Unsplash

What other measures are being brought in?

Passengers arriving into the UK from Tuesday will have to take a PCR test and self-isolate until they receive a negative result. PCR tests must be purchased from private providers as free NHS tests are not valid for this purpose.

All close contacts of anyone who has tested positive for the Omicron variant must also self-isolate for ten days regardless of their vaccination status.

England’s chief medical officer Professor Chris Whitty also said during Saturday’s press conference that the Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation will consider extending boosters from the over-40s to the over-18s.

Will more restrictions be brought in?

The Health Secretary said during Saturday’s press conference that it was ‘nowhere near’ the time to reintroduce social distancing rules and work-from-home guidance, and was hopeful the mask mandate would be removed ‘within weeks’.

Also speaking on Saturday, Boris Johnson added that the measures are simply a ‘precaution’ and are in place to ‘buy time for scientists’ while more is learned about the Omicron variant.

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