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Formal meeting (oral evidence session): Employment and COVID-19

Economic Affairs Committee
Employment and COVID-19

Tuesday 3 November 2020

Start times: 3.00pm (private) 3.00pm (public)

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Committee discuss the effectiveness of the DWP and Treasury response to the jobs crisis

On 3 November 2020 at 3pm, the Economic Affairs Committee holds its eighth evidence session on the Employment and COVID-19 inquiry. The first panel focuses on the adequacy of the UK’s social security system, child poverty, job creation and training and skills support. The second panel focuses on the Treasury’s approach to tackling the economic crisis.

Meeting details

At 3.00pm: Oral evidence
Inquiry Employment and COVID-19
Senior Research Associate at Manchester Metropolitan University
Managing Director at Transform Lives Company
Professor of Economic and Social Policy at University of Bath
Policy Officer at Gingerbread
At 4.00pm: Oral evidence
Inquiry Employment and COVID-19
Senior Economist at Institute for Government
Former Permanent Secretary (2005-2016) at HM Treasury

Likely questions

  • Have Universal Credit and legacy benefits provided claimants with adequate income 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 in particular? What does this mean for the level and type of support that should be available?
  • What are the advantages and disadvantages of spending money on ‘social infrastructure’ – such as on social care or childcare provision - over other types of spending to support a jobs recovery?
  • Has the Treasury been right to anticipate structural ‘adjustment’ and long-term economic changes in its thinking? To what extent should policy interventions designed to save jobs, firms and sectors in the short term acknowledge this?
  • 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?
  • Is the Chancellor right when he told us that targeting support at sectors is too difficult as “there is an entire supply chain for those companies and that in practice it is very hard to distinguish between businesses”?
  • Is the formula under which the Government provides financial support to areas under Tier 3 lockdown restrictions appropriate?


Virtual meeting