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Express & Star comment: Announcement couldn't come at a better time

By Star Comment | Opinions | Published:

The Prime Minister's announcement of a huge investment programme aimed at speeding up the economy's post-Covid recovery could not come at a better time.

Prime Minister Boris Johnson

After weeks of dire forecasts predicting mass unemployment and the worst economic collapse in a generation, a bit of positive news comes as a blessed relief.

Clearly, the powers that be have decided that the best way to counter the oncoming storm is to hurl vast amounts of cash at it.

How exactly the country is going to afford investment on such a grand scale remains to be seen, but at least the Government finally appears to have some sort of plan in place.

When Mr Johnson – who tends to look on the bright side of life – starts using phrases such as "absolute nightmare" and "a disaster for the country" when discussing the impact of the pandemic, the magnitude as the task that lies ahead of us becomes painfully clear.

The PM is fully aware that it would be foolish to wait for disaster to strike before taking action.

As many businesses and jobs must be saved as possible over the crucial period of the next few months in order to give the economy a foundation to build on.

With each catastrophe comes an opportunity, and if the Government can guide the country through the next 18 months then it is just possible that the aftershock may not be as bad as the experts have predicted.

It is telling that Mr Johnson chose the West Midlands to make his speech. He believes that the region is key to the economic prosperity of the entire country.

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In simple terms, if the West Midlands fails, then so does everywhere else.

Ministers appear to realise that the needs of this region and the North are greater and more immediate than those of London and the rest of the South East.

The pandemic has put a huge spanner in the works as far as the "levelling up" agenda goes.

But with the right levels of targeted investment, there is no reason why the West Midlands cannot be at the forefront of Britain's economic recovery.

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