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Treasury Committee Launches ‘Jobs, Growth, and Productivity after Coronavirus’ Inquiry

The Treasury Committee is launching a new inquiry into jobs, growth, and productivity after coronavirus.

The Committee will examine how the Government can reduce and mitigate economic scarring and job losses after the pandemic, how much difference the Government can make to economic growth, and what has caused the UK’s productivity growth to be persistently weak.

It will also examine macroeconomic policy, looking at whether the Bank of England’s inflation target is fit for purpose, if the Monetary Policy Committee has effective tools to stimulate the economy when interest rates are low, and whether a return of inflation is a risk to the economic recovery.

The deadline for submitting written evidence is 17:00 on Monday 17 May. The first evidence sessions will take place before the summer recess, with a report expected later this year.

Commenting on the launch of the inquiry, Rt Hon. Mel Stride MP, Chair of the Treasury Committee, said:

“As the UK begins to emerge from the pandemic, jobs, growth and productivity will be key priorities for the Treasury Committee.

“What role can the Government play in raising economic growth? How can the Government reduce economic scarring effects from the pandemic? Does the Government have a coherent strategy to promote long-term productivity growth?

“These are some of the questions that we’ll seek to answer throughout this inquiry, which will conclude with a series of recommendations for the Government and associated public bodies.”

UKHospitality Chief Executive Kate Nicholls said: “Prior to COVID, hospitality was the third largest employer in the country, providing jobs for 3.2 million people. The sector created £130bn in economic activity and generated £39bn of tax for the Exchequer, funding vital services. It will, therefore, be key to economic recovery.

“Having been the sector hardest hit by the pandemic, suffering months of closure and acute trading restrictions, the future of thousands of pubs, restaurants, hotels and leisure facilities is in jeopardy. So, while the sector is keen to play its part in helping to power the UK’s economic revival and job creation efforts, businesses can only do so with the right trading conditions.

“Crucially this includes scrapping the unfair business rates relief cap which will see almost 8,000 venues paying full rates in July, just weeks after re-opening. A further 1,850 venues would face the same situation before the end of September. This will likely prompt businesses to look at closing unviable sites, cutting jobs or holding back investment, damaging any efforts to UK recovery.”