Boris Johnson will today vow not to “decapitate” London and other “tall poppies” during the government’s levelling up agenda as he gives further details of his government’s trademark policy programme.
Johnson will say that we “don’t think you can make the poor parts of the country richer by making the rich parts poorer” and that “levelling up is not a jam-spreading operation…it’s not robbing Peter to pay Paul”.
The Prime Minister’s speech tomorrow will be a chance for him to set the government’s policy agenda post-Covid as restrictions are largely binned next week.
His levelling up agenda aims to improve conditions in economically deprived areas of the country, however the parameters of the programme have thus far been vague.
Johnson will look to further illuminate the objectives of the programme tomorrow.
He will say that “we will have made progress in levelling up when we have begun to raise living standards, spread opportunity, improved our public services and restored people’s sense of pride in their community” in left behind areas of the country.
Mayor of London Sadiq Khan and other London business groups have previously accused Johnson of wanting to “level down” the capital in order to put investment into the North and the Midlands.
London is due to receive very little of the £100bn in infrastructure promised by the Conservatives in their 2019 election manifesto.
Johnson will say tomorrow that this his aim is to relieve pressure in the parts of the UK that are “over heating”.
He is expected to say previous governments focused too much investment “in areas where house prices are already sky high and where transport is already congested”.
“By turbo charging those areas – especially in London and the South East – you drive prices even higher and you force more and more people to move to the same expensive areas…and the result is that their commutes are longer, their trains are more crowded, they have less time with their kids,” he will say.
“They worry at the same time that the younger generation won’t be able to get a home and that their leafy suburb or village will be engulfed by new housing development but without the infrastructure to go with it.”