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Ex-Chancellors Hammond and Darling debate economics, levelling up and public services with peers

Two former Chancellors of the Exchequer will explore with peers tomorrow (Wednesday 27 January from 2.15 p.m.) what record borrowing during the COVID-19 pandemic means for future funding of public services, and whether the government has neglected public services in its ‘levelling up’ agenda.

The House of Lords Public Services Committee will hear from:

  • At 2.15 p.m. - Rt Hon Lord Hammond of Runnymede
  • At 3.00 p.m. - Rt Hon Lord Darling of Roulanish

Other likely questions and areas of discussion include:

  • Will the Government be less willing to fund public services in the future?
  • What were the consequences for the delivery of public services of the decade following the financial crisis when public spending was scaled back?
  • What consequences will high levels of unemployment have on demand for and delivery of public services?
  • Has the Government’s levelling up agenda focused too much on improving physical infrastructure and too little on improving public services?

The committee will hear also (at 3.45 p.m.) from:

  • Paul Johnson, Director, Institute for Fiscal Studies
  • James Kirkup, Director, Social Market Foundation
  • Rt Hon Lord Willetts, President of the Advisory Council and Intergenerational Centre, Resolution Foundation

Likely questions and areas of discussion include:

  • Will record levels of public debt built up during the pandemic affect central and local government’s ability to deliver public services in future?
  • Will local public service delivery bodies be able to rely on central Government to fund public services in future?
  • What lessons should be learned from the COVID-19 pandemic about funding social care and other public services?

The virtual session will be live on Parliament TV.

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