‘Government must do more to help steel industry’

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MOST PEOPLE want the Government to intervene to save steelworkers’ jobs and few believe ministers have been effective in tackling the crisis in the industry, according to a new poll.

A survey of over 1,000 adults for the Unite union showed that three out of five believed there was a case for temporarily renationalising steel. More than two thirds said the Government should prioritise jobs rather than dealing with the symptoms of the current crisis which has hit industry in Scunthorpe and Redcar.

Thousands of job losses have been announced in recent weeks as firms struggle with high energy costs and business rates as well as cheap imported steel from China.

Three out of four of those questioned, including 73 per cent of Conservative voters, said the Government should do all it can to make sure publicly funded contracts should support the UK steel industry. Unite general secretary Len McCluskey said: “It is clear that the Government is failing to convince even its own voters that it is doing the right thing by this core national industry. The key test for the ministers is not more warm words, but the action they take to intervene to save steelmaking and manufacturing.

“A continued failure to do so will rock public confidence in the Government’s handling of the broader economy and leave people thinking if it can’t do the right thing by a strategically vital industry, what can we trust the Government to get right?”