Commenting on today’s announcement of further job losses in the steel sector, Gareth Stace, Director of UK Steel, said:
“This is deeply disappointing news and I am very concerned about the future of the plant and community. This is a site of critical importance to our national industrial infrastructure.
“The job cuts reinforce everything we have been saying about the importance of swift action by all involved to tackle the problems facing our steel industry. We have been dealing for some time with a toxic cocktail of conditions, from Chinese dumping of steel to the high cost of energy, and have warned that a strong and rapid response in the UK and, in Brussels, is required.
“It is clear that Government, the workforce, unions and Tata must work closely together to ensure this important steel making plant has a strong and secure future. Management and employees must demonstrate through investment on the one hand and, a commitment to reduce cost and improve productivity on the other, that the plant has a viable future.
“The whole industry needs to be reassured that ministers and officials – in Westminster and in Cardiff – are doing everything possible to support the future of steel production. The Government’s review of business rates could significantly reduce the multi-million-pound bill the plant has to pay while ministers should also consider offering grants that would help the site improve its long term sustainability. The Government needs to be creative, co-operative and fleet of foot to make sure every possible option for support is considered.”
Attached is a latest UK steel briefing note on key policy asks and charts showing steel data and Chinese imports in particular.