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Can and should the taxpayer-funded furlough scheme be extended?

Monday 14 September 2020

To what extent would an extension of the Job Retention Scheme delay inevitable adjustments in the economy? Has the ‘Eat Out to Help Out’ scheme helped the hospitality sector to retain employees?

These are among the questions the House of Lords Economic Affairs Committee will be asking two panels of witnesses on Tuesday 15 September 2020.

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. Hande Küçük, Deputy Director, National Institute of Economic and Social Research (NIESR)
  • Professor Len Shackleton, Editorial and Research Fellow, Institute of Economic Research (IEA)
  • Clare McNeil, Associate Director of Work and Welfare State, Institute of Public Policy Research (IPPR).

Questions the Committee is likely to ask include:

  • Should the Job Retention Scheme and support for self-employed workers be extended beyond October?
  • Are localised solutions or extensions to the scheme needed to mitigate the economic impact of sporadic local lockdowns going forwards?
  • Is the UK economy more exposed to the limitations imposed by social distancing rules when compared to other countries?
  • What would it cost the exchequer to withdraw support too soon?
  • What do previous labour market crises show us about the risk of permanent scarring to the economy?

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

  • Kate Nicholls, CEO, UK Hospitality
  • Jean-Philippe Monod, Vice President for Government Affairs at Expedia and Vice Chair, UK Short Term Accommodation Association
  • Marc Crothall, Chief Executive, Scottish Tourism Alliance.

Questions the Committee is likely to ask include:

  • What are the main challenges facing the UK’s hospitality and leisure sectors?
  • How have UK tourist destinations fared as restrictions on social and economic activity have been loosened?
  • What are the immediate challenges that the hospitality and leisure sector face as a result of more people working from home in the short-term?
  • How has the use of technology in the sector post-lockdown – for instance the use of QR codes – transformed working practices?
  • What steps have firms in the hospitality and leisure sector taken to safeguard staff well-being, both physical and mental?

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

The Committee is looking into the effect of Covid-19 on the labour market and what urgent measures should be taken to protect and create jobs. It will also examine how the labour market may change as a result of the pandemic in the longer term.

Last week the Confederation of British Industry, Trade Union Congress, and the OECD were among the witnesses to give evidence to the Committee.

Read the transcripts

Watch the session back on Parliament TV.

Inquiry 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.

Committee Website
Twitter - @LordsEconCom

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