Government wakes up to crisis

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The Government has finally woken up to the crisis in the steel industry - and is serious about finding a buyer for Tata Steel - but still needs to do a lot more to help the crisis-hit industry, according to Roy Rickhuss.

It is willing to take a 25 per cent stake in Tata Steel’s UK business in a bid to save thousands of jobs.

It also said a support package worth “hundreds of millions of pounds” will be offered to potential buyers.

But the general secretary of Community union said it took the closure of the SSI site in Redcar and the loss of 1,700 jobs before the government “woke up” to what he had been telling them for a long time.

The unions and steel bosses have been calling for a cut in energy costs and business rates and an end to Chinese ‘dumping’ of subsidised steel sold below cost price.

He added: “Unfortunately it took the disgraceful tragedy of SSI for the government to stir from its inactivity when its intervention could have resolved the situation.

“I think now they get it but I’m not convinced they know what to do.

“They are not taking action that is strong enough or goes far enough. And they still have a block about Chinese steel dumping, as shown in their refusal to really do something about it.”

He had a “good” relationship with Business Secretary Sajid Javid, he added