£9m Government package to support Scunthorpe steel workers

A support package of up to £9m has been announced by the Government and Tata Steel to provide support to Scunthorpe steel workers and the local economy.

It comes after Tata Steel confirmed it will cut almost 1,200 jobs at its plants in Scunthorpe and Scotland.

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£9m package to support steel workers and local economy

The Tata steel plant in Scunthorpe. Credit: PA Wire

A support package of up to £9m has been announced by the Government and Tata Steel to provide support to Scunthorpe steel workers and the local economy.

It comes after Tata Steel confirmed it will cut almost 1,200 jobs at its plants in Scunthorpe and Scotland.

Tata Steel's regeneration arm UK Steel Enterprise has pledged £3 million to support job creation in Scunthorpe.

The £3 million funding is being matched by the UK Government. It will provide support for more start-up businesses and companies that are looking to expand and create jobs.

A further £3 million will be provided specifically for training of affected employees through local further education colleges.


China has plans to reduce steel oversupply, says PM

David Cameron says the strong relationship between Britain and China enables him to have 'frank and necessary' discussions on other issues.

The Prime Minister said that he discussed the "problem of global oversupply" of steel and President Xi Jinping and said that China has plans to reduce that supply.

David Cameron said the stronger Britain's economic trading with China becomes, the more able the UK is to have "frank and necessary discussions" on other issues.

Xi said via a translator that China has taken a series of steps to reduce capacity, saying production has decreased by 77.8 million tonnes.

The stronger our economic trading business and other partnerships, the stronger our relationship and more able we are to have the necessary and frank discussions about other issues and it's those discussions and that relationship that leads to that greater understanding that makes that positive.

– Prime Minister, David Cameron

The Prime Minister said Britain will take action on energy costs and procurement of UK-made steel for national projects.

His comments come after Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn accused the government of having no industrial strategy to tackle the crisis-stricken steel sector.

Cable: Do not make China a 'scapegoat' for UK steel

Vince Cable Credit: PA

China should not be made a "scapegoat" for the collapse of the UK's steel industry, Sir Vince Cable has said.

The Liberal Democrat former business secretary accused the Treasury of holding back with financial assistance that could help relieve pressures.

He said David Cameron should urge action from Beijing to curb production and noted there was a technical question to be examined over whether China was guilty of illegal "dumping".

"There is a technical issue about dumping which is a legal question that you have to prove they are selling below cost," he told BBC2's Newsnight.

"But the bigger issue is that they have massive excess capacity because they are trying to rebalance their economy."

What we should be saying to the president - and I hope Mr Cameron makes this point - is: if you want to be world economic citizens - and they clearly do as a superpower - you really have to take account of the rest of the world and you've got to restructure your own steel industry and lay off some of your own capacity.

That would take some of the pressure off us. But you can't make the Chinese the scapegoat.

– Vince Cable

Tata cuts signal end of major steel production in Scotland

The closure of the world renowned Ravenscraig steelworks in Motherwell 20 years ago devastated the industry and triggered decades of decline.

In the mid-1970s, the Scottish steel industry employed 30,000 workers. By the 1990s less than 10% still had work and by 2014, just over a thousand were left.

Today, the last men making steel in Scotland were told their jobs will go, their only hope is that a buyer keen to keep steel making alive in the country can be found, Debi Edward reports.


Worried steel workers: Job losses 'a kick in the teeth'

Tata Steel workers in Scunthorpe have told ITV News of their fear and anger after the company announced the losses of hundreds of jobs.

Speaking shortly after the announcement was made to workers via a web conference, several called on the government to act.

"It's another kick in the teeth for the steel industry in this country - my feeling is it's about time the government and the local council got off their fat backsides and did something about it," said one angry worker.

Another said he was from a single-parent family and could potentially lose his home should he be left without a job as a result of Tata's restructuring.

'Limits to what government can do' for steel industry

Business Secretary Sajid Javid has promised support to the UK steel industry but said there are "limits to what government can do" in the wake of thousands of job losses in recent weeks.

Speaking after Labour were granted an urgent question on the crisis in the Commons, Javid said the government would drive up the number of infrastructure projects using UK steel "where possible" in a bid to support the industry.

He told steel workers the government would "not abandon you in your greatest hour of need", and would set up a task force for those made redundant from Tata's Scunthorpe plant.

However, he then added: "There are limits to what the government can do in response. No government can change the price of steel in the global market. No government can dictate foreign exhange rates.

"And no government can simply disregard international regulation on free trade and state aid - regulations that are regularly used to protect British workers and British industry," he said.

Sturgeon vows to 'fight' for future of Scottish steel

Nicola Sturgeon has vowed a 'fight' to prevent the collapse of the Scottish steel industry. Credit: David Cheskin/PA Wire

Nicola Sturgeon has promised to "fight" to save the Scottish steel industry as announced efforts to prevent the closures of the country's last two major plants.

Tata's announced mothballing of the Dalzell and Clydebridge plants, creating 270 redundancies, would effectively end steel production in the country.

After the news, the Scottish government said it would launch a new task force that would look for new owners "for some or all of the businesses" as well as supporting workers made redundant.

The group will be led by Scotland's business minister, Fergus Ewing, and will include representatives from Tata as well as the trade unions, local authorities and relevant government agencies.

First Minister Nicola Sturgeon, who will also visit both plants this Thursday, said the Scottish government would "leave no stone unturned in our efforts to keep the plants open and support the 270 staff affected by today's announcement."

Labour urges action to save British steel industry

Angela Eagle said the UK steel industry was 'on its knees'. Credit: Jonathan Brady/PA Wire

Labour has called on the British and Scottish governments to take action following the announcement of 1,200 UK job losses by Tata Steel.

Announcing the redundancies - most of which were in Scunthorpe and Lanarkshire - Tata blamed in part a massive influx of cheap steel from China, adding that the European Commission (EC) needed to act to "deal with unfairly traded imports".

Angela Eagle, Labour's shadow business secretary, said the announcement was "devastating for workers and their local communities", adding: "With each passing day there is a new blow to the industry which is now on its knees."

She called on the government to work with the EC and China to "relieve the pressure on the industry".

Eagle also urged the Scottish government to intervene, saying: "When Grangemouth, Fergusons and Prestwick Airport were at risk, the Scottish Government stepped in to provide support and to secure jobs.

"They need to do the same now – anything less will not be acceptable.”

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