Yesterday steel MPs, sector leaders and trade union leaders gathered in Parliament to launch the ‘UK Steel Charter’, which calls upon government at every level to consider the impact they could have on wider society when deciding where to buy their steel.
Public sector purchasing of British steel not only supports our steel industry directly, it also has a significant knock-on effect on local supply chains, creating jobs and generating wealth for the wider community.
Stephen Kinnock, Member of Parliament for Aberavon, said:
“A truly patriotic procurement policy would not only boost plants such as the Port Talbot works in my Aberavon constituency, it would also have a hugely positive impact on surrounding communities given the number of supply chain jobs that each new contract would create.
“The UK government has signed this charter, which is all well and good, but warm words and vague commitments are no longer enough. We need to see tangible action, and we need to see real results. As things stand less than 50% of the steel the government buys is British – that is simply not an acceptable state of affairs, and it needs to change.
“High profile infrastructure initiatives such as HS2 and Heathrow’s expansion are examples of where the state should be thinking about value, not just cost, and buying British. It should be the norm for governments at every level, and indeed businesses, to consider social value when procuring steel for large and small-scale projects.”