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Should the Government save the British Steel Industry?

The UK steel industry has been thrown into its biggest crisis for a generation after Tata Steel announced it was pulling out of the country, putting at least 15,000 jobs at risk.

Britain currently manufacturers about 12 million tons of steel per annum as against the Chinese who manufacture half the worlds steel at a staggering 770 million tons last year. As the Chinese economy has slowed down so they have started exporting considerably more cheap steel making the steel produced by Tata in the UK uneconomic to produce and the company is loosing £1m a day. Other countries have imposed tariffs on Chinese steel with the USA imposing a 256% “anti-dumping duty” on it to protect their internal producers.

Tata Steel are apparently seeking buyers, which seems a remote possibility. Steel has been produced in the UK since 1850 and many people in communities like Port Talbot and Scunthorpe rely on the steel industry for jobs and their living. There have been calls for the government to step in and nationalise the industry as steel is seen by many as a strategic industry. The loss of the steel production would obviously harm communities like Port Talbot.

Others say that this will cost the government too much and this is just another UK heavy industry, like coal, that has been in decline for many years.

What’s your view? Should the government step in an Nationalise or support the British steel industry if no buyers are found by Tata Steel. Or with globalisation should we bow to the inevitable and focus on other industries Britain can compete in?

Should the Government save the British Steel Industry?

215 people have already voted, what's your opinion? Yes No

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major red
20th Aug 2016
0
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it terible to see the steel works mothballed the one near me middlesbrough had its ovens relined the cost was enormous now it lays rotting all the money gone to waist
Wilf
20th Aug 2016
0
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The problem is the Chinese produce 900 million tons of steel per annum and the Brits 11 million. I think we should have tarrifs to any imported steel. Its a vital part of the industrial capability of the UK and we need to keep highly trained steel workers working!
Riversiderouge
12th Apr 2016
1
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EU Rules can stop us from subsidising our steel on Teesside but not on Humberside apparently!
Tinkers
11th Apr 2016
2
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It's a funny thing how the Chinese waited until they could really see the total collapse of our steel industry with the threat of all these
hard working people being out of jobs to impose a massive tax on their steel! So now they have us "by the shorts". Britain should step up the steel industry big time and give them the "two finger" salute - similarly I believe we should re-constitute out manufacturing of everything in this country and put the Great back into Great Britain again.
major red
20th Aug 2016
0
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well said i try to get british befor anything else and never french i still remember our apples tipped out alongside the roads
gibbo
5th Apr 2016
1
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its about time we started to put the great back in great Britain, if the steel works go the same way as the fishing, to name but one then we will be at the mercy of others, if god forbid we ever found our selves needing to build arms to defend or fight to protect our interests, if we depended on steel from else where we would be scuppered if we could not obtain what we needed, we need heavy industry to supply the car market, for building steels for the railways and so on, we can send millions sorry billions of pounds to fund things like leather workers in India, we give monies to Pakistan for schools that don't exist, give money to China because we need to help them ,both China and India have a better growth rate than our own, we give 33 million pounds a DAY to the E.U. and get back 250 million a year in benefits for farmer's and so called sponsored events and schemes, sorry I will stop here and get off my soap box, but lets put our country first for a change
jen12
5th Apr 2016
1
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Vital to our country , as someone who lives in a steel town our town will become a ghost town, as already so many of the furnaces have been turned off/mothballed.
OldMan99
4th Apr 2016
2
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if the gov, helps the steel industry out of the mess, this means that we are no longer in the EU,as it has been banned by them, another nail in the G/B coffin.
BirdofParadise
4th Apr 2016
5
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The Government pay £400 million to India in aid. its about time they looked after 'their own' and used this money to modernise and give our steel industry a fighting chance. Shame on this useless bunch for dragging their feet from the start.
Wilf
4th Apr 2016
5
Thanks for voting!
Yes they should save it. There are 15,000 families worried sick I think and if we loose the steel they will have significant problems. Also if we give up the steel industry we will never get it back. What happens if we cannot buy steel from other countries for any reason? They saved the banks they should save the steel industry!
Cathykay
4th Apr 2016
3
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Safe British steel !! World class steel !!
Nellieduncan
4th Apr 2016
5
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The government has allowed our market to be flooded with cheap Chinese steel, and done nothing to reduce energy costs for heavy industry. They have done nothing to protect UK businesses. We have no shipbuilding worth talking about, no UK owned car/motorcycle companies, all the Coal mines have been closed with millions of tons of coal in the ground which we are not allowed to dig out, even though we are unable to produce enough of our energy needs, all because we have sold our soul to the highest foreign bidder. I am afraid UK steel will go to the wall and disappear with all the other industry the UK used to be so proud of and no-one in Westminster will give a damn.
Lionel
3rd Apr 2016
5
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Surely the matter in question is not just about our steel industry. No, it's a wider canvas by far!

Our erstwhile press has been declaring the world is in a more volatile condition than at any time since the end of the Second World War. No nation truly trusts another. The West, with the exception of dear old Blighty, of course, is arming itself to the teeth. War, outright war to the death, could be imminent.

Surely, at such a time, should we Brits not be reclaiming our strategic assets such as steel, power generation, telecoms etc., and holding them, not as satellites of a foreign power, but as our own strategic resources which we will need in the event of a major conflict or financial melt down.

If, for example, civil war breaks out post referendum, as seems possible to me, then shouldn't the State own and have total control over power, food and water supplies and not the Chinese or Germans. Should it not be able to order steel to be produced for our needs? After all, if civil war occurs, it will more than likely be about migrants and their parent nations could well act against Britain and in favour of our new arrivals, the while owning the means of production here.

Please do not think I'm an extremist. I'm not. But I do think there could soon come a time when water will no longer flow from our taps, when supermarket doors are shut, when ATMs are locked down. A time when a foreign power threatens this nation and we have not the means to build the resources to respond. And why,

....because the likes of our steel industry, water, power etc have been sold to foreign powers. The owner of our power systems might just be the threat.

Nationalise the steel industry, all of it, and reclaim our strategic services. We will need then, and it could be soon.
scandiman
3rd Apr 2016
4
Thanks for voting!
Govt. is forbidden to put large sums into steel industry, because of EU rules. They can only do so if the collapse of an industry will affect the economy, which explains why they were able to bail out the banks. So, the banks, whose greed and stupidity caused a crisis were bailed out. The steel workers, who are not responsible for their problems,will not be. Govt. allowed our market to be flooded with cheap Chinese steel, they have done nothing to reduce energy costs for heavy industry. Once again, serious problems caused by the ineptitude of politicians and their failure to protect UK businesses. We have no shipbuilding worth the name, no UK owned car/motorcycle companies, millions of tons of coal in the ground which we are not allowed to dig out, we are unable to produce enough of our energy needs, all because we have sold our soul to the highest foreign bidder. UK steel will go to the wall, and no-one in Westminster gives a damn.
Kes
3rd Apr 2016
5
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The Govenemnt spends billions of pounds of our money on foreign aid and most of it goes to corrupt governments. It's a no brainier as they say.
JohnHerb
3rd Apr 2016
-1
Thanks for voting!
I am not sure the government should put money in as its unsustainable if the chinese are making steel so much cheaper
chmcgaw65
4th Apr 2016
3
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Cheap is the word, the Chinese steel is so inferior to British steel.
PsyaNyde
5th Apr 2016
1
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And when no-one else is producing steel because the chinese imports have driven them out of business and cornered the market, exactly how cheap do you think it will remain?
The govt. should invest in the Steel industry, infact in ALL manufacturing, but the truth is they tried to close down most industry in favour of a Banking and Leisure economy at least until that all went t**ts up and had to be saved by the very industries it was trying to ruin, but now we're out of MOST of that banking mess, it would seem the govt, once again, despises these 'working class' industries and is quite happy to see them come to an end.
After all, non of Camarons chronies are going to loose a job over it are they?
JohnHerb
3rd Apr 2016
-4
Thanks for voting!
Sadly no I don't think they can save it. If we cannot produce a product as cheaply as another country we have to let market forces take over. Look at clothes for example we used to be the worlds factory 100 years ago but they could be made much cheaper in India and Pakistan so the trade moved there. Its capitalism Im afraid.
Munsterlander
2nd Apr 2016
6
Thanks for voting!
Yes they should defiantly save it. The government have been totally incompetent. The industry secretary-Sajid Javid was going on a jolly with his daughter to Australia when the news broke. What is the matter with these people? It really does get me down. He should have been in talks for weeks with Tata. He or his staff must have had an inkling of what was going on. If they didn't they are incompetent. We are talking here about 15,000 peoples jobs in the UK and all the other jobs in those regions dependant on the steel workers earnings. Steel has got to be a key UK industry. We build rail lines. We have tins and nails. Get it sorted Mr Cameron and buy Tata Steel!

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