‘After the jabs, now jobs’: Boris Johnson’s £650bn push to boost economy

On a visit to the Midlands, the Prime Minister trumpeted a £650 billion initiative which the Government says will deliver 425,000 new jobs a year over the next four years, though the investment is partly reliant on the private sector.

The announcement is part of a pitch by Mr Johnson’s government to shift focus away from the pandemic and towards his plan to boost the economy and level up the country.

“Having done the jabs, we want to continue to try to get people into jobs,” Work and Pensions Secretary Therese Coffey said on Monday morning.

Amid growing concern that the NHS could again be overwhelmed in the coming weeks as Covid-19 cases rise at the same time as seasonal flu, the Prime Minister will tomorrow announce contingency plans to deal with any fresh spike in cases.

With the UK’s vaccination programme central to the Government’s plans, guidance to work from home and the mandatory use of face masks may also be retained as options.

But Covid passports look to have been ruled out for now after a weekend of confusion over whether they might be introduced in nightclubs and other venues. Ms Coffey said the introduction of vaccine passports had not been “ruled out forever”.

She told BBC Breakfast: “As [Health Secretary] Sajid Javid set out yesterday, although the formal decision is still to be made, but having reflected and looked at the details of the proposal that it’s not deemed necessary at this moment in time.

“But they haven’t been ruled out forever. It’s reflecting the fact that a lot of young people have come forward and got their vaccinations over the summer.”

She added the work from home guidance could return under plans to combat a possible surge in coronavirus during the winter. “These are the sensible measures I think that we’re going to keep,” she said.


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