Authority Shaken, British PM Boris Johnson Pitches New Plan for UK Economy, Housing

British Prime Minister Boris Johnson vowed on Thursday to revive the faltering economy and make it easier for people to buy homes in his latest reset after he survived a major uprising against his leadership.

Johnson will pledge “financial firepower” to help ease a worsening cost-of-living crisis for families, in his first political speech since Monday’s vote of confidence when 41% of his lawmakers voted against him.

But some experts are skeptical of the new offensive line, saying his ideas to get more people help buying their homes have been tried before and failed. And the economic backdrop is getting worse, as Britain heads into recession, according to the British Chambers of Commerce (BCC) and the Paris-based Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD).

Johnson said on a visit to the county of northern England in Lancashire.

The Prime Minister will also address the decline in home ownership rates, especially among young people, according to excerpts from his speech he sent from his office.

Among the measures are the expansion of the so-called “right to buy” for people living in social housing and a review of the mortgage market, said Michael Gove, minister for “Advancing Policies” aimed at tackling regional inequality.

Asked if these were new policies and why some did not work before, Goff told BBC Radio: “In terms of the right to buy, you are absolutely right to say this is an extension of the policy we already have.” He said that this time the government will replace the social housing sold with new ones, without going into details.

Britain’s opposition Labor Party said Johnson was ignoring an increasingly poor economic outlook.

Labor MP Tulip Siddik said of Johnson’s planned speech: “No wonder he is unwilling to confront the fact that UK economic growth will stall next year.”

Johnson has for months been under mounting pressure over “Partygate” – gruesome details of alcohol-fueled parties in his Downing Street office and residence during the COVID-19 lockdowns.

The growing anger culminated in an ultimately unsuccessful attempt to oust him on Monday, denting Johnson’s authority as he scored only a slim victory over the rebels in his Conservative Party.

The British leader desperately wants to move on, but his move to try to tackle the cost of living crisis comes as economists suggest the country will suffer more than its peers.

The Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) expects zero growth next year – the weakest of any G-20 economy except Russia – while the BCC expects the UK economy to contract 0.2% in the last quarter of this year before growing by just 0.6% in 2023 and 1.2% in 2024.

“The downgrade reflects increased political and economic uncertainty, and increased cost pressures that limit the ability of small businesses to invest,” the BCC said.

Johnson will also say on Thursday that the government will cut costs for businesses and households.

“With more affordable energy, childcare, transport and housing, we will protect families, boost productivity and above all increase UK growth,” he adds.

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