Thursday, November 24, 2022

News: MP calls on Government to deliver for Rotherham’s steel and glass-making industries


Sarah Champion MP has called on the Government to stand by Rotherham’s steel and glass making industries in the face of rising energy costs.

Steel and glass making are significant employers in the Rotherham constituency, which hosts both Liberty Steel and Beatson Clark, a leading manufacturer of glass products.

Champion called on the Government to deliver both long-term certainty on energy prices and to work with the industries to ensure a level playing field with international competitors.

In August, the average UK wholesale price of energy was a £370 per megawatt-hour, as against a pre-crisis level of £50 per megawatt-hour. The German Government has confirmed the introduction of a scheme running for the entirety of 2023 that caps power prices for industry at £110 per megawatt-hour, which is more than £100 cheaper than the UK price cap scheme.

Sarah said: "For nearly a decade, I have been calling for the Government to act on the long-term barriers standing in the way of steel and glass producers reaching their potential as power-houses of Britain’s industrial base.

"But time and time again, the Government’s response has been to praise the industries, say how valued they are and then do nothing. The current crisis must be a wake-up call. UK industries cannot hope to compete internationally if they continue to be hamstrung by a Government whose so-called industrial strategy is based entirely on inertia.

"I have heard it all before. My constituents have heard it all before. I urge the Minister to reflect on his Government’s record of failure with the industrial sector and work with these industries to deliver the vital support that they need to weather the current storm, and also to provide a policy environment that allows them to play their crucial part in driving our economy in the years to come.

"We cannot afford to waste another decade. The Government must deliver for steel and glass both in the short term and in the years ahead."

The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, Kevin Hollinrake, said: "The Government recognise the challenging international economic environment in which the steel industry has to operate, including in relation to overcapacity. Above all else, we understand the vital role that steel occupies as a cornerstone of the UK economy, underpinning domestic industries and local communities.

"Over the past nine years, the Government have committed £800m towards electricity costs through the energy intensive industries compensation scheme, on top of the energy bill relief scheme. Of course, we continue to consider what can be done to ensure that the steel industry is competitive, in fair terms, with other nations."

Images: Liberty Steel


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