If the UK government recognises steel as a critical 21st century industry then it must start by levelling the playing field on electricity prices. Our steelmakers pay 82% more than German competitors.
Abena Oppong-Asare MP is right; if the UK government wants to protect steel jobs it must support modernisation.
Stephen Kinnock: Steel is central in terms of good jobs, national security and combating climate change. There can be no post-pandemic economic recovery without a strong and healthy steel industry. Will the Chancellor therefore commit today to recognising the pivotal strategic importance of the steel industry by using the power of the Treasury to reduce the exorbitant electricity prices faced by our steelmakers—currently 82% higher than in Germany—so that our steel industry can compete on a level playing field?
Kemi Badenoch: I reassure the hon. Gentleman that that is something that we are doing. As I mentioned in my earlier answer, we have already spent £500 million across the sector specifically to deal with that point. Further, we are taking a number of steps to support the decarbonisation of the UK steel industry. For example, we announced the £250 million clean steel fund to support the decarbonisation of the steel sector, including its transition to new low-carbon technologies and processes.