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Inaction over SSI could cost taxpayer ‘hundreds of millions’

Community
Community
21st September 2015

If the government doesn’t step in to support the company, it could cost the taxpayer ‘hundreds of millions’. On Friday, SSI announced a ‘pause’ in iron and steelmaking at its Redcar plant as well as the mothballing of one of its coke ovens.
Roy Rickhuss, Community’s General Secretary, said:

“What SSI needs is some short-term and immediate assistance from government. The most important thing to do is to ensure that these industrial assets are protected and preserved until steel making can resume. If that means the government has to step in and assist then so be it. Last week the Prime Minister said his government would do ‘all we can’ to help the UK steel industry. Now is the time to demonstrate the political will behind those words. Ministers should be bold in the interests of the steel industry, the SSI workers and the whole Teesside community.

“The government has argued that EU state aid rules are preventing it from intervening. I wiil be writing to the European Commission today to seek clarification about the UK’s application of state aid rules.

“The costs of inaction could be far greater for the government. Should SSI fail then it’s taxpayers who could pick up the costs of redundancies and cleaning up the site. Clean up costs could run to hundreds of millions of pounds. It’s in the interests of all parties to find a solution to the current difficulties.”