‘Build back better’? Boris Johnson’s plan must start with wrecked public services

From councils to health and social care to housing, Covid-19 has laid bare the destruction wrought by a decade of austerity

Boris Johnson has promised to “build back better” after the pandemic. But to stand any chance of improving public services, the government has to understand the significance of the wreckage around us.

Covid-19 has laid bare the destruction caused by a decade of austerity. Everywhere there is a lack of capacity, from too few respirators to threadbare public health teams in local authorities. Every part of the system was running hot, so when the virus hit, one of the wealthiest countries on Earth was quickly tipped into crisis. Tens of thousands of deaths from disrupted healthcare could follow.

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