Commenting in response to today’s Budget, Roy Rickhuss, General Secretary of the steelworkers’ union Community said:
“This was a sorely disappointing Budget for steelworkers. The government’s much heralded review of business rates has failed to deliver the urgent support that the steel industry needs. Steel producers will continue to be penalised with high business rates for the investments they have made, adding uncompetitive costs in a difficult global market. The march of the steel makers will continue to be along a rocky road, with steel jobs and steel communities under threat of more pain.
“This comes the same day that a European Commission statement on steel demonstrated yet again that the UK government prefers talking to action when it comes to the UK steel industry. The European Commission has made it clear that it advocates an end to the Lesser Duty Rule, which would then enable more punitive tariffs to be placed on unfairly traded steel. But the UK government is one of the few EU member states which opposes this more robust approach to trade defence measures. Meanwhile, the US does not hesitate in its support for US steel makers, today slapping a 49% tariff on some UK steel products.”
“The Prime Minister says our steel making is ‘vital’ but his government is failing to do all it can to support our steel industry through this crisis.”