Boris Johnson comes to Burnley and pledges to help families struggling with food and energy bills

Prime Minister Boris Johnson vowed that his government is focused on the important issues that matter to people during a visit to Burnley College.

By Sue Plunkett
Friday, 29th April 2022, 4:22 pm

In this whistle stop tour of the state of the art manufacturing and engineering division of the campus, Mr Johnson said: "When people hit a rough patch, and the current climate could definitely be considered that, the Government has a duty to help and we are totally focused on doing that with a range of initiatives in place, something that our opposition does not have."

He said the Government was tackling the pressure on families facing fears over the rising cost of living by putting £9.1 billion into supporting people to pay their energy bills, including a £150 rebate for council tax, and other measures including doubling the household support fund to £1 billion. This fund is to help households with the cost of essentials such as food, clothing and utilities.

But the Prime Minister accepted that these measures were 'not enough on their own' as pressure on family budgets had been caused by energy and the increase in the price of oil and gas, and the situation had been “driven by Putin’s aggression in Ukraine".

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Boris Johnson during his visit to Burnley Colege

He added: "What we need is ‘massive investment’ in renewables, such as offshore wind, which was part of the plans and we are going to build a reactor every year rather than a reactor every decade.”

Burnley was one of several North West towns the Prime Minister visited ahead of next week's local elections which he also spoke about saying: "Our candidates are councillors who will get up early each day to work for the people of Burnley on issues that matter to them such as making sure their bins are emptied, and potholes in the area's roads are fixed."

Questioned on the 'levelling up' investment totalling £20m that will see major investment in Burnley in a range of projects including developing the area between Turf Moor and the town centre and further upgrades to Manchester Road train station, Mr Johnson said it was a fair question to ask why the Government did not just hand over the money to those that needed it.

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Boris Johnson during his visit to Burnley College

He said: “If you invest in northern powerhouse rail, better skills, better health care and better education, you’re going to make towns like Burnley and the North West a more attractive place for businesses to invest in and that drives the growth in incomes that you want to see…you need business to come in and invest in the jobs that will drive up wages and increase prosperity."

Mr Johnson praised Burnley College as an "amazing place with a wonderful work ethic' adding: " Getting young people to understand the value of having a skill will be transformative for our economy.

"We are putting money into further education, skills and tutoring to make up for what so many young people lost during the pandemic."

Praising the ‘amazing’ and ‘incredible’ work of Lancashire’s healthcare professionals in stopping the spread of Covid-19, Mr Johnson pledged greater investment in the NHS through the government’s Health and Care Levy.

Boris Johnson during his visit to Burnley Colege

He also added that the Government had a target of getting 3,600 more nurses and 1,200 more doctors into the NHS since 2019 and that was on track.