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What can the Government do to aid the economic recovery?

Monday 19 October 2020

Is the Chancellor right to vow to “always balance the books”? What UK infrastructure projects could have the biggest and quickest impact on the recovery of the economy? Are UK manufacturers in danger of losing their competitive position in world markets?

These are among the questions the House of Lords Economic Affairs Committee will be asking two panels of witnesses on Tuesday 20 October 2020. These sessions are part of the Committee’s Employment and COVID-19 inquiry.

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

  • Professor Paul Nightingale, Director of Special Projects, UKRI
  • James Heywood, Head of Welfare and Opportunities, Centre for Policy Studies
  • Professor Richard Jones, Chair in Materials Physics and Innovation Policy, the University of Manchester.

Questions the Committee is likely to ask include:

  • What impact would increased spending on R&D have on the economic recovery and UK economy’s resilience?
  • How can the Government’s training and skills vision – for instance its ambitions for more Institutes of Technology and lifelong learning – be aligned with the UK’s research and innovation framework?
  • The Resolution Foundation has recommended investing in retrofitting and social care to create new jobs quickly. What else should the Government invest in to create jobs?
  • Data shows that areas characterised as ‘left behind’ are not necessarily those most exposed to the economic impact of COVID-19. How can the Government target emergency measures to ensure left-behind areas are not neglected?

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

  • Paul Everitt, CEO and Chairman, ADS Group
  • Ben Fletcher, Executive Director of Policy and Engagement, Make UK
  • Andrea Hough, Managing Director, ATEC Solutions
  • Paul Davies, President and Managing Director, Alexander Dennis Limited.

Questions the Committee is likely to ask include:

  • How effective have the Government’s employment and financial support schemes been so far?
  • What further support do manufacturers in areas affected by local lockdowns require?
  • Are manufacturers planning on using the kickstart scheme? How could the scheme be made more effective?
  • What impact has the pandemic had on supply chains across manufacturing?

More on this inquiry, Employment and Covid-19

Last week witnesses from the Resolution Foundation, Joseph Rowntree Foundation, Institute for Fiscal Studies, Musicians' Union, Sage Gateshead, Professional Lighting and Sound Association and UK Theatre gave evidence to the Committee.

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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