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Is the state doing enough to financially support people in and out of work?

Monday 2 November 2020

On Tuesday 3 November 2020 two panels of witnesses will be giving evidence to the House of Lords Economic Affairs Committee’s Employment and Covid-19 inquiry.

These public evidence sessions will have remote participation by witnesses and Committee members. The session will be streamed live on Parliament TV.

The first session will begin at 3pm. Giving evidence will be:

  • Dr Katy Jones, Senior Research Associate, Manchester Metropolitan University
  • Tracy Fishwick OBE, Managing Director, Transform Lives Company
  • Paul Gregg CBE, Professor of Economic and Social Policy, University of Bath
  • Laura Dewar, Policy Officer, Gingerbread.

Questions the Committee is likely to ask include:

  • Have Universal Credit and legacy benefits provided claimants with enough money during the pandemic?
  • Have self-employed people received enough support from the Government during the pandemic?
  • Is the Government doing enough in response to the reported rises in child poverty as a result of the pandemic?
  • How are school leavers and graduates affected by the crisis?
  • What job creation measures should we be taking in both the private sector and through public programmes?
  • What are the advantages and disadvantages of spending money on ‘social infrastructure’ – such as on social care or childcare provision?

The second session will begin at 4pm. Giving evidence will be:

  • Tom Pope, Senior Economist, Institute for Government
  • Lord Macpherson, former Permanent Secretary to the Treasury between 2005-2016.

Questions the Committee is likely to ask include:

  • Do the Chancellor and the Treasury not agree with recent fiscal policy prescriptions from the IMF and the OECD?
  • Has the Treasury been right to anticipate structural ‘adjustment’ and long-term economic changes in its thinking?
  • Is the Treasury correct to adopt a ‘wait and see’ approach to social security spending, depending on the severity of the pandemic?
  • Other than introducing the initial furlough and other schemes in March, has the Treasury been too slow or unambitious in its responses?
  • What ‘job creation’ measures should we be taking in both private sector and through public programmes?
  • Does the crisis justify some form of job, training or apprenticeship guarantee scheme?

More on this inquiry, 'Employment and Covid-19'

Last week the Mayors of Greater Manchester and the Liverpool City Region gave evidence to the Committee, as well as witnesses from the Mowgli Street Food restaurant group, Liverpool Everyman & Playhouse, Liverpool School of English, and Savvy Hotel Group.

The transcripts are available and you can also watch the sessions back on Parliament TV.

This inquiry has its own web page.

More on the Economic Affairs Committee

The Economic Affairs Committee is one of the five permanent investigative committees in the House of Lords and is charged with considering economic affairs.

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