The Daily Mirror has been running a campaign to save our steel industry highlighting four things the Government must do:
- An immediate cut in business rates for the steel industry and a fairer system of valuation
- Give the steel industry a break from green taxes and high energy bills
- Block China from dumping cheap steel on the UK market
- Buy British. Major infrastructure and construction projects and all government-backed contracts should look to use British-made steel
Why British steel is in crisis is explained by Newsnight economics correspondent Duncan Weldon here while the Telegraph carries an informative video "The UK steel industry by numbers" here.
It is claimed that Tata Steel job losses 'will kill Scunthorpe', a town in which generations of workers have depended on steel for their livelihood. The Government's response? A package of up to £9 million to provide support to Scunthorpe steel workers and the local economy.
Without urgent action the British steel industry will share the same fate as the coal industry with yet more "hardworking people" re-classified as scroungers as they are forced onto benefits, unlike the chosen few.
According to National Audit Office figures we spent £850 billion on the bank crises in 2009 which equates to a £26,562.50p spend by every taxpayer in the UK yet "Bankers' bonuses rise at double the rate of the average worker - and are a hundred times higher than those of public sector staff". With UK finance sector bonuses expected to top £100bn since the financial crisis, this equates to £1,500 for every man, woman and child in the UK.
A petition calling on David Cameron to take decisive action to protect and revive British steel plants before it's too late can be signed here.