Wales Questions

Wales_Questions_25_may_s.pngI raised steel and the concerns around the Tata pension scheme in the chamber today during Wales Questions.

Stephen Kinnock

2.What steps the Government are taking to support the steel industry in Wales

 

The Secretary of State for Wales (Alun Cairns)

With your permission, Mr Speaker, may I pay tribute to my predecessor, my right hon. Friend the Member for Preseli Pembrokeshire (Stephen Crabb), who is now the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, for the work he did when he was Secretary of State for Wales in all matters supporting Wales, but particularly in relation to the steel industry?

We are doing everything we can to support the sale of Tata Steel UK, including offering support to potential buyers worth hundreds of millions of pounds. Our discussions with buyers, the Welsh Government and the unions continue, and we stand ready to negotiate with the preferred bidder to ensure the future of steelmaking in Wales and across the UK.

Stephen Kinnock

As we know, a critical meeting is taking place in Mumbai later today, and the future of the industry is hanging in the balance. What measures have the Secretary of State and his colleagues in the Cabinet taken to ensure that a viable and sustainable pension scheme is developed as a result of the sale of the business? Can he assure the House that it will be sustainable for the 130,000 members of the scheme?

Alun Cairns

I have spoken to the Secretary of State for Business since his meetings with Tata in Mumbai. Pensions are rightly one of the issues under consideration, and the hon. Gentleman will be aware that my right hon. Friend highlighted them at the outset, when he said that pensions, plant and power were three of the issues that needed to be addressed. Pensions are an extremely complex issue and cross a number of Departments, but we are determined to find a way through in the interests of the members, the trustees and the company.