The Evil Diaries: Save Our Steel!

1 mins. to read
The Evil Diaries: Save Our Steel!

I draw readers’ attention to last night’s Guido Fawkes article on the destruction of the British steel industry. I do not know what percentage of the cost of steel is represented by energy costs. But it is clearly significant. It is of course mad to imagine that a Climate Change Act (Thank you, Ed Miliband) has any effect whatsoever in persuading the Chinese to rein back their consumption. However, vastly higher electricity prices for all in the UK have been used to subsidise lunatic green policies. Those can go right now.

The problem of EU intervention is more deep-seated. We should just ignore it since it is madness to allow for it and since right across the EU it is already ignored. With any luck we can wave goodbye to all this dogmatic bureaucracy on 23rd June.

The survival of British steel is too important to be left to centre-left idealogues. At the heart of matters Britain must decide whether it wishes to retain the steel industry if it is reckoned to be of strategic importance. If so, a large loss must be expected and allowed for. It is of course possible that this loss will be recovered in years to come.

The immediate job losses at Port Talbot on closure of the plant would lead to massive social security benefits being paid for many years and, needless to add, a ripple-on effect of tens of thousands of other workers. This is a cost which HMG must take into account.

HMG should consider intervention buying of British-produced steel as a form of development of a strategic reserve but, in the immediate future, as a means of keeping Port Talbot open. There is a long history of developing strategic reserves both here and abroad. It is very expensive and unless it reflects an opportunity to buy at well below, say, the Chinese marginal cost of production should not be adopted. But, at this stage, it should be considered.

Finally, HMG has had to leave off any suggestion of assisting sensibly since Tata would otherwise have chucked in the towel sooner. The forthcoming trouble has been known about for years.

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