Covid-19: Economy - Motion to Consider

Part of the debate – in the House of Lords at 2:21 pm on 4th June 2020.

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Photo of Lord Mann Lord Mann Non-affiliated 2:21 pm, 4th June 2020

Two minutes today, a minute previously—not enough time is being spent debating the economic crisis emerging around us. I propose to the Minister and the Government that, as there will be no summer holidays, we should cancel immediately the Summer Recess and hold a virtual House of Lords throughout the summer to give proper and effective time to such critical debates.

There has been much talk today of resilience and growth, but if we simply go back to the economy that we had before—where, for example, manufactured car parts crossed the channel 30 or 40 times—it will not be either economically competitive and sustainable or environmentally sustainable. Neither do we want to move into the new economy that is emerging, where we are run by Amazon and Facebook, with the taxpayer, in effect, cross-subsidising the operations of both—Amazon’s facilities and Facebook’s expanding infrastructure—with neither paying proper taxes back into our economy. It is an economy where London is the motor, with the vast majority of those running the motor commuting into London. That is not an economy sustainable for the future, nor is one where we are not self-reliant for our energy and our food. We need an entirely different kind of economy, which will need changes in planning law and taxation to allow for home-working and international competitiveness. Let us also have people’s quantitative easing, with the Bank of England buying government debt so that the country can get on its economic feet again.