PM Johnson demands Britain "build, build, build"

Boris Johnson has a plan to shake the British economy out of its virus-induced crisis...and it involves a lot of building.

On Tuesday (June 30) he told an audience at a college in central England that fast-tracking infrastructure investment and slashing property planning rules will be key.

Johnson added that British people cannot be "prisoners of the crisis":

"We must work fast because we have already seen the vertiginous drop in GDP and we know that people are worried now about their jobs."

His message was somewhat overshadowed by the announcement of a new lockdown in Leicester, just 50 miles away.

Infections there are surging.

Nevertheless, with a call to "build, build, build," Johnson announced plans to go big on spending:

"So we will build better and build greener but we will also build faster and that is why the Chancellor and I have set up Project Speed to scythe through red tape and get things done."

The PM compared his plan to U.S. President Franklin D. Roosevelt's 'New Deal' to help America recover from the Great Depression in the 1930s.

Tuesday's headline spending announcement of 5 billion pounds, or $6 billion, amounts to around 5% of gross public sector investment last year.

Most had already been announced and is only being spent sooner than planned.

Critics say the stimulus is less the response of countries like Germany and is simply not enough.

Britain's recent history shows that while big infrastructure projects are often seen as a way to create jobs, they are difficult to deliver.

A new underground train line in London is over budget and late, as is a north-south high speed rail link.

Johnson's announcement came as data showed the economy in early 2020 shrank by the most in over 40 years.

As households slashed their spending, GDP dropped by a quarterly 2.2% between January and March.