Business committee criticises ‘disappointing’ environmental support for UK steel industry

The Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS) Committee has today published the Government’s response to the its steel industry report published on 5 November 2021.

Commenting on today’s response from the Government, Darren Jones, Chair of the Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy Committee, said: “It is disappointing that the Government has resorted to simply restating many of its existing policies rather than taking the opportunity to provide strategic direction and a supportive policy environment for the UK steel industry. Action on long-standing issues such as energy prices is urgently needed to ensure the steel industry in the UK has a viable future.

“I urge the Government to think again and bring forward a steel sector deal to help UK producers compete internationally and enable the steel industry to transition to a low-carbon future,” he went on.

The BEIS Committee report said that the steel sector cannot continue to lurch from crisis to crisis and action is needed for the UK to retain a resilient and competitive domestic industry.

The report made a series of recommendations to help tackle long-running challenges, including those from high energy prices and barriers to supplying steel for major public projects, and recommended a strategic plan and supportive policy measures to decarbonise the industry and protect jobs.

The Committee’s report also urged the Government to consider formalising a fit and proper person test for private company directors within any future steel sector deal and that a review be undertaken to consider the systemic risks associated with high-risk financial practices in the steel sector.