Johnson Vows 'Decisive Action' to Rebuild COVID-Hit Economy Ahead of Conservative Party Conference
05:58 GMT 03.10.2021 (Updated: 13:54 GMT 06.08.2022)
The four-day Conservative Party Conference kicks off in Manchester on Sunday and comes amid an ongoing fuel crisis that has already seen petrol stations run dry across Britain.
British Prime Minister Boris Johnson
has pledged that the government will take "decisive action" pertaining to jobs, crime, as well as health and social care to rebuild the country's economy hit by the COVID-19 pandemic.
Speaking ahead of the 2021 Conservative Party Conference, Johnson referred to the event's "Build Back Better" slogan, which he said means "we want things to change and improve as we recover". The conference is scheduled for 3-6 October in Manchester, where Johnson is due to deliver a keynote speech.
According to the UK prime minister, the country "didn't go through COVID to go back to how things were before - to the status quo ante".
Johnson argued that "only the Conservatives are getting on with the job, tackling the long-term challenges this country faces", adding, "that means taking the big, bold decisions on the priorities people care about - like on social care, on supporting jobs, on climate change, tackling crime, and levelling up".
Referring to pandemic-related issues, BoJo claimed that the government had "rolled out unprecedented levels of economic support, protecting livelihoods and keeping businesses afloat".
He also praised the National Health Service (NHS)
, lauding the UK's "successful vaccine rollout" that "has saved thousands of lives, prevented countless hospitalisations, and has allowed the economy and society to begin returning to normality".
"All of this shows we are delivering - and now it is time to go further - not only to recover, but to build back better - with decisive action on more jobs, more police, and supporting health and social care", the prime minister asserted.
UK Fuel Crisis
Johnson's remarks come as the government remains under pressure over an ongoing fuel crisis
, which Treasury Chief Secretary Simon Clarke argued is "back under control" as more fuel is now purportedly being delivered to petrol stations than being sold.
Motorists in the UK started panic buying fuel on 23 September after several national energy companies announced they were experiencing problems with fuel supplies due to a shortage of tanker drivers.
With more petrol stations running out of supplies, the government said earlier this week it would introduce 5,000 temporary visas to foreign lorry drivers to resolve the issue.
29 September 2021, 13:50 GMT
In a separate development this week, at least 15 million households in England, Wales, and Scotland were hit by higher domestic energy bills, in line with the UK Office of Gas and Electricity Markets (Ofgem)'s latest price cap. The bills soared by £139 ($193) from £1,138 ($1,583) to a record high of £1,277 ($1,777) a year.
On top of that, the UK's Local Government Association (LGA) urged Chancellor Rishi Sunak to include extra funding from the central government in his forthcoming spending review in order to avoid a 25-percent rise in council tax.
If the chancellor fails to find more funding for social care and other "vital services", British families may face paying £500 ($675) more in council tax a year to help the sectors stay afloat.