David Rees AM stands up for Steel

David Rees AM for Aberavon yesterday stood up for steel in the Senedd and questioned the Minister for Economy, Science and Transport following her Statement on Steel. David supports the steel industry and welcomed the Minister’s statement and her calls for the UK Government to take action in 5 key areas. These were Energy Costs, Demand for Steel, cheap imports, Business Rates, and regulation. David also called on the UK government to go beyond simply setting up the working groups that were promised following last week’s steel summit and to quickly produce the necessary practical actions for governments, industry and key organisations that are needed support this major industrial sector.  He stressed that “The UK government can no longer be complacent in its response to these issues and this must change if we are to protect against further job losses in the industry.”

The Minister assured members that the Welsh Government will “continue to provide considerable support to the Steel industry across areas such as skills and training, research, development and innovation and environmental improvements to increase competitiveness throughout the supply chain.   

David Rees asked the Minister several questions on her statement to ensure that the Welsh Government are doing everything possible to support the Steel industry in Wales.

David Rees AM said; “As the constituency Assembly Member for a proud steel town, which has been making steel for a period spanning three centuries, it’s important that we address the challenges facing the steel industry, a major manufacturing sector here in Wales. The minister identified working task groups in her statement that have been set up, but, to be fair, they’re late in the day. They should have been set up by the UK Government a long time ago, because we are now facing crisis point in the steel industry.”

“To be honest, when I saw the Secretary of State for BIS, Sajid Javid MP, walking out of the summit last week to the press, he showed no interest and no understanding of the steel industry, nor a desire to actually do something about it. He is quoted as saying that there is no straightforward solution to complex problems; I agree, there is no straightforward solution, but at least you have to have an interest and the commitment to get a solution, and I think that that was severely lacking last week in his approach to the whole summit.”

“I am pleased that the Welsh government is continuing to hold talks with Tata steel and that it will continue to do so highlighting the importance for more investment to keep the plants we have in Wales, in particular at Port Talbot, functional and profitable.”

  

***ENDS***

 

***For further information please contact Angharad Thomas

on 0300 200 7128 or [email protected] ***