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UK Steel Industry Outlines its Demands to Help Boost British Plants

Steel News - Published on Wed, 14 Aug 2019

Image Source: The Mirror
The Mirror reported that UK steelmakers have issued a series of demands to Boris Johnson in a bid to pump new life into the industry. Trade body UK Steel called on the Prime Minister to secure tariff free access to EU markets for British metals, avoiding UK firms being hammered with extra costs. It also wants an easing of electricity costs so plants can compete with European rivals and an overhaul of business rates which would benefit the fragile sector. UK Steel has produced a 10-page mini-manifesto “A New Deal for Steel: Laying the Foundations for a Vibrant UK Steel Industry” which it has sent to key ministers in the new Government.

It says “The steel industry is already a big investor in the UK, averaging GBP 200 million every year across the UK’s five major producers. But we want to invest more, in our plants, in our people and in R&D. If the right business environment can be provided, by the steps outlined in this document, the steel sector is ready to commit to increasing capital investment by an additional GBP 100 million a year as well an injection of GBP 50million in new R&D funding over five years.”

UK Steel director Gareth Stace said “It’s time for the Government to take action on sky high energy prices, reform the business rates regime and back British industry when it comes to big ticket Government contracts. It is entirely possible for the UK to have a strong and sustainable steel industry, every other major developed economy does. The steel industry is ready to invest in its future in the UK, all it requires is a partnership with the Government that can deliver those actions and unlock its potential.”

Community steelworkers’ union Roy Rickhuss backed the call, saying “Our industry provides thousands of jobs, it sustains families and whole communities across the UK, and it is time the Government gives it the support it needs to survive. Each of the key six asks made by UK Steel in this manifesto are asks made by the weight of our entire industry. Support from Government in these six key areas would help create the level playing field that our industry needs to be sustainable and prosperous long into the future.”

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Posted By : Ratan Singh on Wed, 14 Aug 2019
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