Britain's biggest steelmaker Tata Steel seeks £500m taxpayer bailout

Britain’s biggest steelmaker Tata Steel seeks taxpayer bailout of £500m – 10 times the amount available under government support scheme

  • Tata Steel is in need of £500m funding package due to coronavirus impact
  • Company has approached UK and Welsh Governments for financial support
  • Local MP Stephen Kinnock asked Treasury to lift cap on business loans
  • Tata Steel employs more than 8,000 people in the UK, 4,000 at Port Talbot
  • Here’s how to help people impacted by Covid-19

Britain’s largest steel manufacturer will need £500 million in Government support to weather the coronavirus crisis, according to an MP.

Labour MP Stephen Kinnock, whose Port Talbot constituency includes the Tata Steel’s main steelworks plant said the company requires Government support to survive the Covid-19 shutdown.

It was reported the firm has approached the UK and Welsh Governments for a £500 million funding package after many of its customers, such as car manufacturers, halted production during the crisis.

Britain’s largest steel manufacturer, Tata Steel, will need £500 million in Government support to weather the coronavirus crisis, according to an MP

Sky News reported the request was under discussion with the Treasury and the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy.

The Government has introduced a Coronavirus Large Business Interruption Loan Scheme, which offers loans of up to £50 million to UK-based businesses with a turnover of over £45 million.

But the company, which was already beset with financial issues which forced the closure of it Newport plant last year, is in need of funding 10 times the sizes of what is currently allowed.

Mr Kinnock said the cap needed to be lifted, otherwise the future of Tata Steel lay in the balance.

‘Since the 2016 UK steel crisis the UK government has offered plenty of warm words about supporting our steel industry,’ he said.

‘Now is the time for ministers to finally start matching those words with actions.’

Labour MP Stephen Kinnock, whose Port Talbot constituency includes the Tata Steel’s main steelworks plant said the company requires Government support to survive the Covid-19 shutdown

Earlier this week, Mr Kinnock questioned Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab, who was deputising for Boris Johnson at PMQs, about the future of British steel.

In reply, Mr Raab said Chancellor Rishi Sunak was ‘looking carefully’ at the steel industry.

Tata Steel employs more than 8,000 people in the UK, including around 4,000 at Port Talbot.

Lucy Powell, Labour’s shadow minister for business and consumers, said: ‘Steel is a vital sector for the UK in the jobs it provides and its role in Britain’s domestic manufacturing.

‘UK produced steel is critical to ensuring our economy recovers quickly and to make our domestic manufacturing more resilient in the future.

‘It is right for the Government to work with the industry to protect employment, which is the lifeblood of communities, while ensuring taxpayer value for money.’

A Government spokesman said: ‘The Government has put together a far-reaching package of support to help businesses through the coronavirus pandemic.

‘We continue to regularly engage with businesses across all sectors, including those in the steel industry.’

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