Thursday 30 April 2020 5:55 pm

Boris Johnson promises no post-coronavirus austerity

Boris Johnson has promised there will not be a period of austerity after the coronavirus crisis.

The Prime Minister said austerity was “not a part of our approach” when asked about how the government will deal with the hundreds of billions of pounds of debt the pandemic will have added.

Read more: FTSE 100 ends April in a slump as coronavirus batters Shell and Lloyds

The Office for Budget Responsibility (OBR) released projections earlier this month predicting that net borrowing could hit £271bn this year.

The figure is five-times higher than the watchdog’s March forecast and would be the biggest in peacetime.

Johnson moved to assure people at today’s press briefing that he would not enact a period of austerity as David Cameron did in the aftermath of the last recession.

“You know what my instincts are – I think the economy will bounce back strongly,” Johnson said.

“I think this government will want to encourage that bounce back in all kinds of ways, but I’ve never particularly liked the term [austerity] and it’s certainly not part of our approach.”

The Prime Minister announced today that he would outline plans to ease the coronavirus lockdown next week, with some speculation that the first measures will not be taken until June.

Johnson said he was concerned about the state of the economy, but that if the lockdown was lifted too early that it would do more damage in the long-run.

Read more: Boris Johnson: UK ‘past the peak’ of coronavirus outbreak

“It’s absolutely vital that if we’re to bounce back as strongly as I think we can that we don’t have a second bad spike,” he said.

“That would really do the economic damage, lasting economic damage.”

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