Hartlepool MP Mike Hill quizzes former chancellors in new select committee role

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Hartlepool’s MP has put three fomer chancellors on the spot over the UK’s economic recovery after lockdown.

Mike Hill has been appointed to the powerful Treasury Select Committee and one of his first duties was to question former George Osborne, Alistair Darling and Philip Hammond on the importance of including social welfare and environmental planning in recovery plans as part of a series of meetings around the impact of Coronavirus on the UK economy.

Mr Hill MP said a new way of thinking on the economy would be needed as the recovery got under way: “Given the impact of COVID 19 on people’s day-to-day lives, especially around mental health, child poverty and job insecurity as well as addressing future demands around growing low carbon green technologies to take us out of recession, I was able to point to New Zealand, Iceland and even Scotland to show that there needs to be a broader scope to future economic recovery programming beyond simply looking at GDP in isolation,” he said.

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“To truly get us out of what is predicted to be the worst recession in modern times as a consequence of the pandemic, to create growth and job opportunities for the many companies and individuals adversely affected and put us at the forefront of global finance, trade and manufacturing we need to be thinking outside the box and extend our budgetary planning strategies beyond traditional boundaries.”

He praised the Government’s support for business during the lockdown: “The current Chancellor, Rishi Sunak, has admittedly done a great job so far to deal with the crisis a protect jobs, but as measures like the furlough scheme ultimately come to an end we really do need to think about the future of our industries, our workers and the impact on global trade, local economies and the environment.

“Post Brexit, places like Hartlepool stand ready to benefit from new industrial strategies and investment around low carbon and carbon neutral technologies, but there has effectively been a push back on this resulting from the virus and unless Government strategy understands that and adopts a wider social and regional strategy going forward, then economic recovery will be all the more difficult.”

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