Post-Pandemic Economic Growth super-inquiry launched by BEIS Committee
4 Jun 2020 04:22 PM
The Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS) Committee yesterday launched a new super inquiry on Post-Pandemic Economic Growth. This wide-ranging and ambitious inquiry will look at the options available to Government to secure our economic recovery from the impact of Covid-19; covering investment, industrial strategy, jobs, skills, exports and sustainable growth.
This over-arching inquiry is likely to run through the Parliament and will include a series of sub-inquiries examining issues such as devolution and the ‘levelling-up’ agenda, the role Government might play as a shareholder or investor in businesses in the future, and the measures needed to rebuild consumer confidence and stimulate economically and environmentally sustainable growth. Further terms of reference for these sub-inquiries will be published during the course of the Parliament.
Darren Jones, Chair of the Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy Committee, yesterday said:
“We must build a new, modern Britain that has a stronger, more sustainable and more productive economy where every nation and region shares the opportunities created by economic growth. This new super inquiry is wide ranging and illustrates our ambition as a committee to be at the forefront of Parliament’s contribution to the future shaping of our country.
“As a Committee, we want to investigate whether the post-pandemic world presents an opportunity for a resetting of the UK economy – from delivering ‘green’ 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, declining exports and disorganised devolution and embracing new opportunities to modernise the UK economy.
“The Government has a big job to do in helping businesses survive, stimulating economic growth and encouraging the creation of well-paid meaningful jobs. Levelling up the UK economy and meeting our climate change targets should be at the heart of the Government’s economic vision. As a Committee, we will look to the future and see what government, at local, regional and national level, needs to do to help businesses and the economy thrive in the future.”
While looking at how to map a path to future growth, the Committee will also explore how the Government can mitigate against the risk of a resurgence of problems that existed before the pandemic, including issues such as inequality, regional imbalances, poor productivity, declining manufacturing and slow progress on delivering net zero.
The Committee is likely to begin evidence hearings at the end of June and, over the course of this super inquiry, will be looking to hear evidence from a wide range of businesses, workers, entrepreneurs, and investment bodies as well as local and national government and institutions. The BEIS Committee is currently undertaking a separate inquiry on the impact of coronavirus on businesses and workers which initially looked at the immediate impact and support offered to workers and businesses during the coronavirus crisis and will continue to keep a close eye on Government policy during the transition from economic emergency to economic recovery.
Terms of reference
The Committee is inviting initial written submissions for this super inquiry which will focus on the following key questions, covering 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?
The closing date for submissions on these initial terms of reference is Wednesday 15 July.
Further terms of reference will be published during the course of the Parliament on the various areas the Committee will cover during this inquiry.