Updated statement on SSI Redcar

“The SSI plant in Redcar has been an integral part of the local community for many, many years.  Not only will these 1,700 jobs now be lost with all the uncertainty that redundancy creates, there will be a secondary impact on many other local companies associated with the steel industry.

Redcar already has a high level of unemployment, so the impact upon the local community cannot be overestimated.  I am deeply disappointed that our government did not fight harder to keep SSI open – and in the part played by EU state aid rules and British energy policy.  Whilst I welcome the £80 million government package to help redundant workers, could that money not have been better spent to keep the plant open in the first place?
The tragic part is that the plant could have been profitable in the long term; raw materials will not always be so expensive, the pound will not always be so strong and Chinese dumping is not permanent so steel prices will rise.  My thoughts turn now to the future; is it still possible that it be mothballed in such a way that the door is left ajar for re-opening this plant – probably under new ownership – when economic conditions change?”

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