- Consultation On Covid Inquiry Terms Of Reference
A consultation has opened on the draft terms of reference for the public inquiry into the Government’s response to the Covid pandemic. Click here to ready a copy of the draft terms of reference which state that the main aims are to:
- Examine the COVID-19 response and the impact of the pandemic in England, Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland, and produce a factual narrative account, to read click here
- Identify the lessons to be learned from the above, thereby to inform the UK’s preparations for future pandemics.
Of particular interest under the first aim is that the inquiry will look at:
- how decisions were made, communicated and implemented
- intergovernmental decision-making
- the availability and use of data and evidence
- legislative and regulatory control
- the closure and reopening of the hospitality, retail, sport and leisure sectors, and cultural institutions
- travel and borders
The consultation is open until 7th April and can be completed through an online survey that is available on this link.
- DCMS Trade In Goods And Services
DCMS has published new figures for the trade in good and services by businesses under it’s responsibility during 2020. The new figures show
Trade in DCMS Sector goods in 2020 (current prices) is estimated as:
- £48.6 billion of goods imports, 9.8% of total UK goods imports
- £22.1 billion of goods exports, 7.1% of total UK goods exports
Trade in services by businesses in DCMS Sectors in 2020 (current prices) is estimated as:
- £40.4 billion of service imports, 25.3% of total UK service imports
- £67.2 billion of service exports, 23.0% of total UK service exports
- Tourism exports (spend on goods and services by overseas visitors to the UK) was £6.2 billion (current prices), down from £28.4 billion in 2019.
- Tourism imports (spend on goods and services by UK visitors overseas) was £13.8 billion (current prices), down from £62.3 billion in 2019.
- Rebuilding London’s Tourism Industry
The tourism economy in London has been one of the most heavily impacted by coronavirus over the past two years having suffered the triple impact of few overseas visitors, many people working from home and families being concerned about the use of public transport and visiting indoor attractions. In response to this the London Assembly Economic Committee (whose role is to scrutinises the work of the Mayor relating to economic development, wealth creation, social development, culture, sport and tourism in the capital) has just launched this document, Rebuilding London’s Tourism Industry, which contains eight recommendations. These include:
- Given that the tourism and hospitality sectors are not expected to have fully recovered by March 2022, the Government should maintain the current VAT rate of 12.5 per cent for these sectors until March 2023, rather than increasing it back up to 20 per cent in March 2022 as currently planned.
- The Mayor’s international tourism campaign should encourage international visitors to make longer visits to London and should highlight environmentally sustainable travel methods, which will bring economic benefits and help make international travel less environmentally damaging.
- The Mayor should conduct detailed analysis of labour shortages across the hospitality and tourism sectors in London, with the aim of identifying where skills and labour shortages exist and developing a plan of how to fill these gaps, including lobbying the Government for any support that is required.
- As part of the Good Work Standard, the Mayor should continue to work alongside employers in the tourism industry to improve working conditions, ensuring jobs provide good-quality work and that there are progression opportunities in the sector.
- R Number And Growth Rate
This week’s R Number and Growth Rate figures are, respectively, 0.8 to 1.1 and -2% to +2%. This is the first time the range for these figures has ventured into positive territory since the beginning of February and reflects a slight increase in transmission that has resulted from Covid restriction being ended. It will be worth keeping an eye on these figures over the next few weeks to judge the longer term impact of the removal of restrictions.