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Call for evidence

Post-pandemic economic growth

TERMS OF REFERENCE: POST-PANDEMIC ECONOMIC GROWTH

Background

As the UK economy emerges from the Covid-19 pandemic crisis it will face big challenges as the UK Government begins to taper its support packages and businesses seek to rebuild and grow. It is important that lessons are learned from the pandemic so that the UK is more resilient and better placed to deal with future pandemics and shocks. The Committee would like to investigate whether the post-pandemic world presents an opportunity for a resetting of the UK economy: from delivering sustainable climate resistant growth and jobs and levelling up regional economies so that communities and individuals no longer feel left behind to solving old problems such as poor productivity, sluggish exports and disorganised devolution and embracing new opportunities to modernise the UK economy.

This Inquiry will give the Committee an opportunity to consider how the Government could borrow and invest to restart and decarbonise the economy. This could include looking at issues such as: which governance models are most effective in delivering growth locally; reskilling and upskilling the workforce; how the government should respond to requests from businesses for ongoing financial support; whether the Government should take stakes in any companies and if so how these should be managed, and; whether the Industrial Strategy is still a relevant and appropriate vehicle through which to deliver post pandemic growth. The Committee can also explore how the Government can mitigate against the risk of a resurgence of problems that existed before the pandemic, such as inequality, regional imbalances, poor productivity, declining manufacturing and slow progress on delivering net zero, amongst others.

This inquiry will not evaluate whether or not the actions taken by the Government to tackle the COVID19 pandemic were warranted.

Key Issues

The inquiry will focus on the following key questions (which cover immediate and longer-term issues):

  • What core/guiding principles should the Government adopt/prioritise in its recovery package, and why?
  • How can the Government borrow and/or invest to help the UK deliver on these principles?
  • What measures and support will businesses need to rebuild consumer confidence and stimulate growth that is sustainable, both economically and environmentally?
  • Whether the government should give a higher priority to environmental goals in future support?
  • Whether the Government should prioritise certain sectors within its recovery package, and if so, what criteria should it use when making such decisions? What conditions, if any, should it attach to future support?
  • How can the Government best retain key skills and reskill and upskill the UK workforce to support the recovery and sustainable growth?
  • Is the Industrial Strategy still a relevant and appropriate vehicle through which to deliver post pandemic growth?
  • How should regional and local government in England, (including the role of powerhouses, LEPs and growth hubs, mayoralties, and councils) be reformed and better equipped to deliver growth locally?
  • What opportunities does this provide to reset the economy to drive forward progress on broader Government priorities, including (but not limited to) Net Zero, the UK outside of the EU and the ‘levelling up’ agenda? What should the Government do to ensure that delivering on these priorities does not exacerbate the vulnerability of businesses, consumers and communities/workers that have been impacted by COVID-19?
  • What lessons should the Government learn from the pandemic about actions required to improve the UK’s resilience to future external shocks (including – but not limited to – health, financial, domestic and global supply chains and climate crises)?
  • What opportunities exist for the UK economy post Brexit and the pandemic for export growth?
  • What role might Government play as a shareholder or investor in businesses post-pandemic and how this should be governed, actioned and held to account?

Please note that if the Committee accepts your submission we will publish it on our website and it will be subject to parliamentary privilege. If you would like to ask the Committee to accept your submission anonymously (meaning it will be published but without your name), or confidentially (meaning it won't be published at all), please say at the start of your evidence which of these you want to request, and tell us why. In the interests of transparency, and to ensure that the Committee can make full use of evidence in its investigations, we prefer to publish evidence wherever possible. Confidentiality may limit the Committee’s ability to accept or use evidence in the inquiry.

 

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