This week Motherwell and Wishaw MP, Marion Fellows, questioned the Secretary of State for Energy, Amber Rudd, in Parliament on the UK Government’s long term strategy to preserve the UK’s steel industry by tackling high energy prices.
Mrs Fellows pressured the Secretary of State to provide an action plan to ensure that energy prices do not continue to cripple the UK’s steel industry.
Last month, Mrs Fellows also pressured the Prime Minister to implement the Energy Intensive Industry compensation scheme which would compensate the steel sector for high energy prices, as soon as possible and not in 2017 as planned.
Mrs Fellows said:
“It is vital that the UK Government outlines a long term strategy to combat the issues facing our steel industry. These include crippling energy prices; cheaper, Chinese imports; and barriers to state intervention – all of which are issues I have been raising in parliament.
If the Scottish Government’s Steel Task Force does find a buyer for the Lanarkshire plants, this does not guarantee a future for steel in Scotland and jobs in our community. The wider issues preventing a long term future for steel must be addressed.
Where the Scottish Government has set up a task force and invested £195,000 to keep key staff at the plant in order to attract a buyer who could begin production quickly; the UK Government has not acted with the urgency the situation requires and continuously fails to take action to save our steel. No long term strategy is in sight.
I would like to assure constituents that the SNP will continue to do all it can to find a buyer for our steelworks and to retain and support as many workers as possible.”
Commenting on the Scottish Government’s latest support grant, steelworker Joe Wemyss said:
“My belief is that this will try and help retain key plant personnel such as the mill rollers. These are the people Dalzell cannot afford to lose or it would be hard to hit the ground running if a buyer for the plant can be found.
There is a buyer who has shown a lot of interest. What I have heard is that if they buy Dalzell and Clydebridge they do not want a ghost plant with no workers. It is therefore essential that this buyer can take the plant over as soon as possible.
Without the Scottish Government’s intervention, we would be closed with no hope of reopening. The UK Government have washed their hands of us and offered no help whatsoever which is really disappointing, but not unexpected.”