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Boris Johnson's spending plan an attempt to gain Tory support in the North
30 June 2020, 18:18
LBC's Westminster correspondent said that Boris Johnson's "new deal" is an attempt to guarantee Tory support in the seats they won in the "Red Wall" in 2019.
Ben Kentish joined Eddie Mair to reflect on Boris Johnson's announcement today whereby the government pledged £5 billion in a "new deal" which is planned to kickstart the UK economy post-coronavirus.
"There are those on the right of the Conservative party who are asking him in private why a Conservative government with a majority of 80 is ramping up borrowing and public spending akin to something a Labour government in years gone past might have done."
Ben came up with the theory that the spending plan is "designed to be aimed at voters, particularly those in former Labour seats that secured Boris Johnson that majority."
"Ultimately they want to make sure that that election victory in December, the seats they won for the first time, wasn't a one off." Ben suggested.
Ben told Eddie that the suggestion that this government spending is a new story is not true. "It's not new in the sense that it's effectively what the conservatives had promised in their manifesto back in December. It is the levelling up agenda that won them the majority of 80."
He told listeners that "it is a significant amount of public spending and that is why you heard Boris Johnson that he accepts that it is a major government intervention."
"Very little in what was in the speech this morning was new, it was a reassertion really of things that Boris Johnson and his ministers had been talking about before coronavirus hit."
Ben told listeners to keep their eyes peeled for tax hikes to come, warning Eddie that there was a "pretty big suggestion that taxes might rise in the years to come" in Boris Johnson's speech.