Commenting on the Select Committee’s assessment of the Government’s response to the steel crisis, Stephen Kinnock MP said,
‘I welcome this Select Committee report, that is absolutely right in its assessment of the government’s abject failure to tackle the steel crisis.
It is a scandal that steel producers the length and breadth of the UK have been raising concerns for years, and but their words have been falling on deaf ears.
The recent announcement from the European Commission on state aid clearance for the Energy Intensive Industries Compensation package was certainly welcome, but it was also long overdue. The government acknowledged the need for compensation in 2011, so why on earth didn’t it simply make the package available and secure state aid clearance retro-actively? Sajid Javid and Anna Soubry like to blame Brussels for all our troubles, but the fact is that every other EU government shoots first and answers questions later, so why don’t we?
The same goes for dealing with the dumping of Chinese steel. The government of every other steel-producing country in the EU steps in to protect their industry from dumping, so why don’t we? Why is the British government still blocking proposals to decrease the amount of time it takes to register a dumping case?
The answer is that this government is driven by a laissez-faire ideology, and a blind belief that ‘the market is always right’. But sometimes the market fails, and when it does it’s government’s job to level the playing field.
The truth is that the rot set in during the Coalition Government, and if anything things have worsened since May, as this report so rightly points out.’