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Boris Johnson has warned the public that the jobs many people had in January will not come back once the coronavirus furlough scheme is lifted.
The prime minister said the country was facing a “real, real crisis”, raising the prospect of mass unemployment once the government’s jobs retention scheme is phased out over the coming months.
He promised his response to the expected deep recession would not be a return to austerity but instead a spending stimulus package modelled on US president Franklin D Roosevelt’s new deal, which helped lift America out of the Great Depression in the 1930s.
But Labour accused Johnson of “fraud”, insisting Roosevelt’s relative spending dwarfed the government’s plans many times over and pointing out there had been a cut in the budget for affordable housing.
The PM also faced accusations of reheating announcements from the Tories’ 2019 election manifesto.