Plaid Leader Adam Price calls on Welsh Government to return ownership of Welsh steel industry to Welsh public hands
The Welsh Government should ensure that the ownership of the Welsh steel industry is returned to Welsh public hands, Plaid Cymru Leader Adam Price MS has said.
Last week TATA Steel announced that it was in talks to separate its UK and Europe operations – putting the future of 8,000 jobs at peril.
According to media reports Tata Steel UK, is currently seeking £500m funding from the UK Government as part of the Project Birch Initiative in order to sustain its future.
At the height of the last crisis the Welsh Government funded the Excalibur management buy-out at Port Talbot to the tune of three quarters of a million pounds.
Plaid Cymru Leader Adam Price said that the “only secure and sustainable future for Port Talbot and the other Welsh plants in the long run” was to return the ownership of the Welsh steel industry to Welsh hands – and ensuring that workers and their communities have a seat at the table.
The Plaid Cymru Leader also called on the First Minister to develop a “fully-fledged alternative strategy” for Port Talbot based around maintaining the works in their current configuration in the short to medium term; investing in the development of hydrogen-based steel production in Wales; and ensuring that the Port Talbot works is converted to use the new technology to produce carbon neutral steel by 2035.
First Minister Mark Drakeford said the Welsh Government wouldn't look to nationalise the industry but would put their energy at the service of the company and the UK Government.
Plaid Cymru Leader Adam Price MS said,
“Tata’s announcement over the weekend caused great anxiety for the communities of Port Talbot who have kept the fires of our economic furnace burning for many decades.
“The only secure and sustainable future for Port Talbot and the other Welsh plants in the long run is to return the ownership of the Welsh steel industry to Welsh hands – and ensuring that our workers and their communities have a seat at the table.
“To nationalise as a first step and then recapitalise through the kind of green bond advocated recently by the OECD and then finally to mutualise and create a Welsh Steel Co-operative. Dwr Cymru has been a success so why not Dur Cymru?
“History has taught us that we cannot rely on Westminster to solve Wales’s problems. When Wales does things differently, it does things better. Now is the time to show the difference that having our own government can make by bringing forward a counter proposal to protect jobs and livelihoods in Port Talbot and the surrounding area.