Speaking up in the House of Commons at Welsh questions, Nia Griffith MP, Labour’s Shadow Secretary of State for Wales, again pushed the Government on when the steel industry can expect to receive the long-awaited help with energy costs.
Speaking to Stephen Crabb MP, Welsh Secretary, Nia Griffith emphasised just how serious the crisis facing the steel industry now is, and said,
“Four years ago, in the autumn spending review, the Chancellor of the Exchequer promised a compensation package to the Energy Intensive Industries, but they are still waiting for the money.What reassurance can the Secretary of State give the thousands of workers in Wales, whose jobs depend on the steel industry, that his Government will deliver that package by the end of this month?”
She then went on to say
“This Conservative Government has made much of simply renewing existing anti-dumping measures, but with 94% of the Chinese steel that comes into the EU, flooding the UK market, can the Secretary of State explain why his ministerial colleague in the EU Council of Ministers is blocking the much-needed reform of the trade defence instruments.”
Commenting afterwards, Nia said
“It is absolutely ridiculous that the Government is still hiding behind the need to get state aid clearance from the EU before they give the compensation package to the Energy Intensive Industries – money to help re-create a level playing field after this government unilaterally imposed an extra carbon tax on our industry which no other EU country pays.
And as for measures to stop the dumping of Chinese steel in the uk, the Government has made much of simply renewing existing anti-dumping measures, but at the same time, it is this UK Government which is blocking the reform of the trade defence instruments, which is badly needed to help our steel industry.”