Boris Johnson Admits Many Pre-Lockdown Jobs Are ‘Not Coming Back’ As Furlough Lifts

Arj Singh

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Boris Johnson has warned the public that the jobs many people had in January will not come back once the coronavirus furlough scheme is lifted.

The prime minister said the country was facing a “real, real crisis”, raising the prospect of mass unemployment once the government’s jobs retention scheme is phased out over the coming months. 

He promised his response to the expected deep recession would not be a return to austerity but instead a spending stimulus package modelled on US president Franklin D Roosevelt’s new deal, which helped lift America out of the Great Depression in the 1930s.

But Labour accused Johnson of “fraud”, insisting Roosevelt’s relative spending dwarfed the government’s plans many times over and pointing out there had been a cut in the budget for affordable housing.

The PM also faced accusations of reheating announcements from the Tories’ 2019 election manifesto. 

Appearing in Dudley in the West Midlands behind a podium emblazoned with the slogan “build build build”, Johnson set out a raft of infrastructure spending announcements as well as an “opportunity guarantee” to ensure every young person has the chance of apprenticeships or in-work placements. 

Johnson said he hoped the overall package would foster the creation of thousands of high-paid, high-skilled jobs, but refused to say exactly how many.

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