Tata losses are 'excuse' for job cuts, claims former First Minister Carwyn Jones

"It's vital that we get a better idea of what exactly has happened", Carwyn Jones told S4C’s Y Byd yn ei Le. Credit: Y Byd yn ei Le, S4C

Wales' former First Minister Carwyn Jones has questioned Tata’s claims that it loses £1million a day on its Port Talbot site. 

Speaking to S4C’s Y Byd yn ei Le, Mr Jones said: "It's vital that we get a better idea of what exactly has happened, because I don't accept that they've made a loss of a million pounds per day for 7 years - no business could deal with that." 

Tata Steel is expected to confirm plans today (19 January) to close both blast furnaces at its biggest UK plant, threatening more than 3,000 job losses.

He continued: "What disappoints me is that Tata are saying the same thing now as they said 7 years ago when I was First Minister.

"They said at that time that they were losing £1 million every day, I didn't think they were right then and I don't think they're right now. I think that's an excuse.

"I think it's right that the option of some sort of government control is considered, maybe nationalisation."

Also appearing on the programme was former Plaid Cymru leader Adam Price, who said: "When there was a severe emergency happening [in Tata] when Carwyn Jones was First Minister, even the Conservatives were discussing nationalising over the short term to save the industry. That's the sort of intervention and leadership that is needed now.

“We need to ensure that this [the closing of the furnaces] does not happen over the next year. There is a general election coming where it will be possible to implement a long-term industrial policy which is more strategic and will save jobs for the future"

A UK Government spokesperson said: “We are determined to secure a sustainable and competitive future for the UK steel sector, which is why we have committed £500 million of UK Government support that will transform the site and protect thousands of jobs, both in Port Talbot and throughout the supply chain.”

Y Byd yn ei Le is available to watch on S4C Clic and BBC iPlayer with English subtitles. 

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