BEIS committee opens ‘super inquiry’ on post pandemic economic growth and calls for evidence

Can the UK emerge from the Coronavirus pandemic with a greener and more resiliemt economy? If so, how should that be achieved? The Select Commitee on Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy has asked for evidence as it opens a ‘super inquiry’ on Post-Pandemic Economic Growth. It will include sub-inquiries including 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.

The committe says this will be a wide-ranging and ambitious inquiry, covering investment, industrial strategy, jobs, skills, exports and sustainable growth.

Darren Jones, committe chair, 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.

The Committee will also explore how the government can stop problems re-emerging that existed before the pandemic, such as inequality, regional imbalances, poor productivity, declining manufacturing and slow progress on delivering net zero.

The committee is seeking written evidence on how the government could borrow and invest to restart and decarbonise the economy; 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. It also asks whether the government should give a higher priority to environmental goals in future support,  how  regional and local government in England, (including the role of powerhouses, LEPs and growth hubs, mayoralties, and councils) should be reformed and better equipped to deliver growth locally, and what opportunities there are to drive forward progress on broader government priorities, including Net Zero.

See the full terms of reference here.  The committee wants to receive written evidence by 17 July.