Penarth’s Conservative Assembly Member Andrew R T Davies has proposed that the UK Government should take a temporary stake in the Port Talbot Steelworks.
Davies – who represents South Wales Central (which includes Penarth) – said today “In recent years we have offered significant support to the banking sector because we all recognised its importance to the wider economy. Now we must be prepared to offer similar support to secure the future of our steel industry – even if that means taking a temporary stake in Tata Steel in Port Talbot.”
Members of the Welsh Assembly are being called back early from their scheduled Easter break. They hadn’t been due to return to their desks until after May’s Assembly Elections. Now they’ll be back in the building next week and will meet on Monday to discuss the future of the Port Talbot steelworks, where thousands of jobs are at risk.
The owner – the Indian firm Tata Steel – has announced it wants to sell all its UK steelworks – including Port Talbot which has been losing £1,000,000 a day. The Indian firm said it would “explore all options”, including “divestment“.
First Minister Carwyn Jones has said the Welsh Government will “support any viable option” to ensure the future of the Welsh steel industry.
The Secretary of State for Wales Alun Cairns (Conservative MP for the Vale of Glamorgan) said the position of Port Talbot is a “sensitive matter”, but that “every option” to save the plant is being explored by the UK Government.
UKIP Wales leader Nathan Gill has claimed that the restrictive regulations imposed by the European Union are at the heart of the problem because they prevent a “democratic UK government” from tackling the problem of high energy costs. “Who would buy an industry like this now? …Nobody” – he says .
Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn visited Port Talbot today and the UK Government’s Business Secretary Sajid Javid is flying back from Australia to be in Port Talbot as soon as possible.Javid is already on record as having said “I don’t think that nationalisation is going to be the solution.”