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

Economic Affairs Committee
Employment and COVID-19

Tuesday 17 November 2020

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

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Jesse Norman MP discusses Treasury response to economic crisis with Committee

On Tuesday 17 November 2020 at 3pm, the Economic Affairs Committee holds its final evidence session on the Employment and COVID-19 inquiry. The Committee hears evidence from the Rt Hon. Jesse Norman MP, Financial Secretary to the Treasury, and Lindsey Whyte, Director of Personal Tax, Welfare and Pensions, on the Treasury’s response to the  economic crisis caused by COVID-19. Topics for discussion include: economic impact, employment support, training and skills, building a sustainable recovery and reforming social security.

Meeting details

At 3.00pm: Oral evidence
Inquiry Employment and COVID-19
Financial Secretary at HM Treasury
Director of Personal Tax, Welfare and Pensions at HM Treasury

Likely questions

  • What is stopping the Treasury from publishing an economic impact assessment of lockdown and other health restrictions to enable Parliament to better scrutinise these policies as well as the financial support that is needed?
  • What was the basis for the Treasury’s decision to extend the furlough scheme in full? Why did it not make changes to its design to better target those sectors most affected?
  • More than 3 million people are still excluded from the various employment and self-employment support schemes. What steps is the Treasury taking to address this?
  • Has the Government considered any proposals for schemes that would aim to redeploy workers that are most at risk into sectors that are more resilient?
  • Has the Government considered any proposals to expand job creation schemes such as Kickstart? For instance, to young people who are not claiming Universal Credit and to apprentices who have been made redundant?
  • Does the Treasury accept the IMF’s view that Governments in advanced economies should engage in fiscal stimulus in response to the crisis?
  • Has the Treasury conducted any analysis of 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?
  • The Government has long-term policy objectives to achieve net zero carbon emissions and level up underperforming regions. Does it have any plans to bring forwards capital spending on investment projects in both areas?
  • What assessment have you made of the effect of withdrawing the £20 a week increase in the Universal Credit Standard Allowance next year?
  • What consideration has the Treasury given to writing off historic tax credit debt since we published our report in July?
  • What proposals to deal with rising child poverty has the Government considered?



Virtual meeting