On Friday 15th, as part of the election campaign Boris Johnson announced that, if elected, a Tory government would spend hundreds of millions of pounds reviving dying high streets by extending the retail discount on business rates to 50 per cent to boost ‘left behind’ communities. The Conservatives have also promised £500m to reverse cuts to the railway network made in the 1960s by Dr Richard Beeching, which affected smaller towns and villages, while also announcing a £350m fund for improving cycling infrastructure.
Also on Friday, Labour pledged to nationalise parts of BT and give every home and business in the UK free full-fibre broadband by 2030. At a campaign event in Lancaster, Leader of the Labour Party Jeremy Corbyn argued that ‘full-fibre broadband must be a public service’, and that nationalised broadband will ‘reduce people’s monthly bills, boost our economy and improve people’s quality of life’. He said that the rollout would begin in the hardest to reach places, and those who currently have the poorest access, before eventually moving to towns and cities. The Party will fund the plan, estimated to cost around £20bn, through the taxation of major digital platforms including Amazon, Facebook and Google.
Parliament has been dissolved during the general election campaign.
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