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Nia Griffith MP has called on David Gauke MP, the Exchequer Secretary, to meet MPs who are members of the All-Party Parliamentary Steel Group to discuss the impact on the steel industry of government policies such as business rates, and the delays in channelling financial help to the energy intensive industries.

Since first approaching the Chancellor a few weeks ago, Nia Griffith MP, who is secretary of the All-Party Group on Steel and Metal Related Industry, has explained that the recent job losses in TATA make this meeting all the more urgent.

Speaking up in Parliament last week, Nia Griffith MP asked the Leader of the House if he would intervene, saying,

“Given that Karl Köhler, Head of Tata Steel Europe, who has just announced the devastating loss of 400 jobs in Port Talbot, specifically mentioned problems with Government policy, such as business rates and delays in getting help for energy intensive industries, will the Leader of the House prevail on his colleague, the Exchequer Secretary, to meet the all-party steel and metal related industry group? ”

Nia has explained

“The way that business rates are levied makes the UK unattractive for investment by heavy industry compared to other countries. Add to that the delays in getting help to the energy intensive industries – help that is badly needed because the Government unilaterally imposed a UK-only tax, the carbon floor price, at level that is far too high. The Government has now tied us up in the red tape of getting a discount for energy intensive industries on a tax they should not have imposed like this in the first place. Government also needs to boost the demand for steel by bringing forward infrastructure projects, at a time when demand for steel remains worryingly low.“

As well as keeping in regular contact with colleagues at TATA, Nia Griffith and other members of the Parliamentary Steel Group will also be meeting senior staff at CELSA in Cardiff later this month.