The Government has been caught napping at the wheel on the steel crisis that has engulfed this country over the last year or so, which has seen the price of steel half.
The Government has money for everything nonessential or unimportant. Late last week we learnt that the British Government now accounts for £1 in £7 of foreign aid given out by rich nations. Indeed, foreign aid is going to increase by 4 billion over the next 4 years from 12 billion to 16 billion pounds. A petition against foreign aid has now gone over 220,000 signatures.
The fact is the government could help the steel industry but it simply doesn’t want to. This government is just not interested in helping British manufacturing, British industry, and British workers.
Government is ultimately about choices and priorities and as usual, this government has made the wrong choices and has the wrong priorities.
Essentially there are three points that the government hasn’t taken action on and needs action urgently.
Government’s failure to put anti-dumping duties on Chinese Steel – The Chancellor is more bothered about sucking up the Chinese then taking them on. We should be taking more action against Chinese dumping of steel on the markets instead of sucking up to the Chinese. We need to stand up to them and impose tariffs if necessary.
Energy prices are higher in the UK thanks to the EU and the Government’s ridiculous climate change act which David Cameron supported to the hilt. Indeed, Tata Steel has been warning the government for months about the higher Energy costs but the government, as usual, has absolutely nothing. We should cut energy costs.
We should give state aid, but the EU state aid rules prevent a British government from helping out our steel industry.
The Government has a very simple choice free up some money from nonessential departments to provide a short-term loan to the steel industry and ignore the EU or sit back and allow a vital British industry to go to the wall.
It’s a sad situation but it is a direct result of a Government without an industrial policy.
Tata Steel employs 15,000 people in Britain. Across the whole country, the steel industry has about 40,000 jobs they could all go if no action is taken. I urge this Tory Government to get off its backside back British Industry, back the manufacturing sector, step in and help a vitally important industry to this country.