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Going back to austerity “will be a mistake”: UK PM

FILE PHOTO; PM Boris Johnson

Kampala, Uganda | XINHUA | British Prime Minister Boris Johnson warned Monday of bumpy times ahead amid a looming recession in Britain, but insisted there would be no return to austerity in the country.

In a broadcast interview on the Times Radio newly launched in London, Johnson said he was preparing an economic effort comparable to former U.S. President Franklin D Roosevelt’s New Deal following the Great Depression in the United States in the 1930s.

Calling COVID-19 a disaster and an “absolute nightmare” for Britain, Johnson said the crisis could be the impetus for lasting reform, vowing to double down on investment to see Britain through the economic fallout from the pandemic.

“The country has gone through a profound shock. But in those moments you have the opportunity to change and to do things better,” said Johnson.

“We’ve seen a big fall in our GDP (gross domestic product) and everybody understands as we come out of it there are going to be some bumpy times…This is the time to invest in infrastructure, this is the time to make those long-term decisions for the good of the country,” he said.

“In the end what you can’t do at this moment is going back to what people called austerity, it wasn’t actually austerity but people called it austerity, and I think that would be a mistake,” he said.

Johnson is expected to unveil a massive spending plan in a keynote speech Tuesday, according to local media.

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XINHUA

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