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Parliamentary Committee seeks the views of businesses on growth

31 July: MPs on the BEIS Committee are reaching out to business leaders to hear their views on constraints around growth and opportunities to improve their productivity.

The Committee – appointed by the House of Commons to examine the expenditure, administration and policy of the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy – has launched a new ‘super inquiry’ Post-Pandemic Economic Growth. Running since the beginning of June, the inquiry is looking at issues including industrial strategy, jobs and skills, and sustainable growth. 

On the launch of this inquiry, Darren Jones MP, the Chair of the Committee, commented that they wanted 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, sluggish exports and disorganised devolution and embracing new opportunities to modernise the UK economy.”

ICAEW has made a submission to the inquiry, in which we highlighted the importance of the recovery being environmentally sustainable, involving investment in skills and infrastructure to build regional resilience, and having a long-term fiscal strategy to deliver sustainable public finances. 

The committee has now launched two sub-inquiries looking at ‘levelling up’ and industrial strategy, with further sub-inquiries likely to be launched in the coming months. 

Alongside this, the committee chair has now written to business leaders, seeking specific insights from companies ranging from SMEs to those in the FTSE 350 across the country to understand the challenges facing the business community. 

Looking beyond the usual terms of references of the inquiry, there are some specific themes the committee would like to hear about including: constraints on growth and investment, in work training and skills, productivity, and businesses’ opinion of the Government’s 2018 Industrial Strategy. 

In the Autumn, the committee will be inviting some of the respondents to growth roundtables to discuss the themes coming out of the responses to this inquiry.

Commenting on the inquiry, Iain Wright, ICAEW’s Director for Business and Industrial Strategy, said: “From my own time as BEIS Committee Chair, I know how important it is to hear about the frontline experience of businesses operating across the UK and the challenges they are facing. This is a great opportunity for our members operating across all sectors to inform the work that Parliament is doing in this area.”

Anyone wishing to contribute to this inquiry can find the letter from the Chair with further information here, and the link for the Committee’s main inquiry page here. The closing date for submissions on these initial terms of reference is Tuesday 1 September.