COVID-19 – impact on Scotland’s businesses, workers and the economy

 

About the Inquiry

The Scottish Parliament’s Economy, Energy and Fair Work Committee is here and ready to listen to your views at this challenging time. 

The Committee has an ongoing inquiry on the impact of COVID-19 on Scotland’s economy, including businesses and workers. The Committee issued an open call for views after the crisis began; we thank those who have already submitted evidence. This has helped inform the Committee’s scrutiny of the Scottish and UK Governments’ response to the crisis. COVID-19 will also be the focus of the Committee’s scrutiny of the Scottish Government’s budget. 

You can read the written submissions received so far here:

Written Submissions received

At its meeting on 24 March, the Committee took evidence from the Cabinet Secretary for Economy, Fair Work and Culture on the impact of COVID-19. 

Following the evidence session, the Committee wrote to the Cabinet Secretary. The Cabinet Secretary responded on 10 April.

The Committee held further evidence sessions on Monday 18 May Friday 29 May and Tuesday 2 June.

The Committee has now published the next phase of its inquiry work. This is outlined below under the Evidence heading. If you still wish to get in touch in response to our open call for views, please email: [email protected]

Please note that in most cases your written submission will be published on the Scottish Parliament’s website and may be quoted in a report or correspondence by the Committee or in Committee meetings (which are public and broadcast).  

If you wish to request that your submission be published without your name, please contact the Clerks at the following email address: [email protected]

Before making a submission, please read our privacy notice about submitting your views to a Committee. This tells you about how we process your personal data.

Evidence

The Committee's second phase of work on COVID-19 is focusing on 4 areas. The Committee's online consultations on these areas closed on Friday 31 July 2020. You can read all the responses received at the following links:

The Committee also asked young people about the impact of COVID-19. You can read their responses at the following link:

The Children and Young People’s Commissioner Scotland wrote to the Committee regarding the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic on children and young people.

As part of its COVID-19 inquiry, the Committee held focus groups with young people and businesses. 

 

The meetings can be viewed below:

Businesses:

Young people:

On  6 October the Committee took evidence from Jamie Hepburn, Minister for Business, Fair Work and Skills.


Correspondence

On 16 April the Committee wrote to the Cabinet Secretary for the Economy, Fair Work and Culture, the Cabinet Secretary for Finance and the Chancellor of the Exchequer. 

The Cabinet Secretary responded on 25 April. HM Treasury responded on 11 May.

On 6 May the Committee wrote to the banks regarding support being offered by banks to businesses during the COVID-19 crisis.

Responses:

On 11 May the Committee wrote to the Cabinet Secretary for Economy, Fair Work and Culture seeking an update on a number of points.The Cabinet Secretary replied on 22 May.

On 26 May, the Committee wrote to Chief Secretary to the Treasury.The Chief Secretary responded on 5 June. The Committee wrote again to the Chief Secretary to the Treasury on 16 June. The Chief Secretary responded on 29 June.

Energy Transition Fund

On 12 June, the Cabinet Secretary for the Economy, Fair Work and Culture wrote to the Committee to inform it of the Energy Transition Fund.

Advisory Group on Economic Recovery

On 19 June the Cabinet Secretary for the Economy, Fair Work and Culture wrote to the Committee ahead of the publication of the group's report: Scotland Needs a Robust, Resilient Economy: The Report of the Advisory Group on Economic Recovery

On 30 June the Committee wrote to Fiona Hyslop, Cabinet Secretary for Economy, Fair Work and Culture regarding the Scottish  Government's intention to respond to the group's report. The Cabinet Secretary responded on 2 July. The Deputy First Minister and Cabinet Secretary for Education and Skills and the Cabinet Secretary for the Economy, Fair Work and Culture responded on 5 August.

On 30 June the Committee wrote to the Rt Hon Alok Sharma MP, Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy to ask whether the UK Government intend to produce an economic recovery plan. The Department for Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy responded on 27 July.

Parliamentary Engagement on Green Recovery

On 24 June the Environment, Climate Change and Land Reform Committee provided an update on recent developments in relation to green recovery and the work of the Committee.The Convener replied on 8 July.

On 22 September the Environment, Climate Change and Land Reform Committee wrote to the Committee with an update on its green recovery work.

COVID-19: enterprise and skills agencies

The Committee has written to the enterprise and skills agencies seeking further information.

Responses:

On 31 August Seeking further information from Highlands and Islands Enterprise.

The Committee has also written to the following Committees:

  • Culture, Tourism, Europe and External Affairs Committee  
  • Education and Skills Committee  
  • Finance and Constitution Committee
  • Health and Sport Committee  
  • Local Government and Communities Committee 
  • Rural Economy and Connectivity Committee  

Following the Committee's meeting on 22 September 2020, Scottish Enterprise wrote to the Committee to provide supplementary information on a number of issues raised during evidence: 

Business Support

On 8 July the Committee wrote to the Cabinet Secretary for Economy, Fair Work and Culture seeking an update on support offered to businesses. The Cabinet Secretary responded on 22 July.

On 6 August the Cabinet Secretary for Economy, Fair Work and Culture wrote to the Committee regarding the application and award data for the Pivotal Enterprise Resilience Fund, the Creative, Tourism and Hospitality Enterprises Hardship Fund, the Newly Self-Employed Hardship Fund, and Bed and Breakfast Hardship Fund.

On 19 August wrote to the Cabinet Secretary for the Constitution, Europe and External Affairs and the Secretary of State for Scotland regarding the provision of information to Committees. The Cabinet Secretary reponded on 14 October.

COVID-19: impact on young people

On 27 August the Committee wrote to Professor Sir Anton Muscatelli to ask him to respond to a number of points raised in our evidence sessions:

ScotGrad Scheme

Following the Committee's evidence session on 15 September the Committee wrote to Highlands and Islands Enterprise regarding the ScotGrad scheme. Charlotte Wright replied on 1 October.

Report

The Scottish Parliament Information Centre (SPICe) and the Economy, Energy and Fair Work Committee commissioned a research report from the Institute for Government; Authored by Gemma Tetlow and Grant Dalton.

 
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