Coronavirus (COVID-19): Cross Party Covid Recovery Steering Group minutes - 2 June 2021

Note of the second meeting of the Scottish Government's cross-party steering group held on 2 June 2021.

Attendees and apologies

  • John Swinney MSP, Deputy First Minister and Cabinet Secretary for Covid Recovery (Scottish Government) (Chair)
  • Jackie Baillie MSP (Scottish Labour)
  • Alex Cole-Hamilton MSP (Scottish Liberal Democrats)
  • Murdo Fraser MSP (Scottish Conservatives)
  • Patrick Harvie MSP (Scottish Greens)

A number of Scottish Government officials also attended the meeting.

Items and actions

Item 1 Revised Terms of Reference and note of last meeting

1. The Chair welcomed members to the second meeting and noted the changes made to the draft Terms of Reference.  The group agreed the updated Terms of Reference and the note of the first meeting and that these should be published on the Scottish Government website.

Item 2 Presentation by Chief Economist on Covid economic recovery

2. The Scottish Government’s Chief Economist, Gary Gillespie, delivered a presentation on the economic impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic.

3. In response to the presentation, members discussed a range of issues, including:

  • the long term impact the pandemic might have on future trends in retail and on retail workers
  • the speed at which the hospitality and tourism sectors might recover and the impact this might have on future levels of unemployment
  • how economic data fed into Cabinet’s decision-making on the pandemic and the wider four harms
  • how to ensure that Scotland’s recovery plan sought to build back stronger and address some of the long standing challenges within sectors, such as low pay and job insecurity
  • how to improve physical spaces within communities by utilising empty properties for the benefit of local residents
  • the need to ensure that recovery helped to deliver key strategic outcomes, like net zero
  • the similarities and differences between the UK and Scottish economies
  • support for businesses, both existing ones which had been severely impacted by the pandemic and emerging, high growth businesses
  • the personal finances of households and how spending habits might change as recovery progressed; and
  • the global impact of the pandemic and how this might impact on tourism in Scotland

Item 3 Focus and timing of next meeting

4. It was agreed that the focus of the next meeting should be NHS remobilisation and that the Chief Performance Officer of NHSScotland, John Connaghan, should be invited to deliver a presentation to the group.

5. It was agreed that a date would be identified for the group to next meet in week commencing 7 June.

Item 4 AOB

6. No other business was raised.

Cabinet Secretariat

Scottish Government

June 2021

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