Starmer urges Government to ‘come out of hiding’ to support crisis-hit industry

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abor leader sir Keer Starrer have called Government To “get out of hiding” and help energy-intensive industries facing the prospect of shutting down production due to high gas prices.

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Leader of the Opposition Sir Keir, ahead of a visit to steelmaker Outokumpu Stainless Ltd on Thursday, said it was “important that we get a grip on the energy crisis”.

The Labor leader’s challenge comes after industry leaders in energy-intensive sectors warned that current government aid schemes could be no more than a “flattering plaster”.

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Manufacturers that require a lot of energy to produce their goods, such as steel and chemical makers, previously warned that rising gas prices could mean they would have to close plants this winter. .

While other countries are stepping up and acting, Britain is sitting behind surprisingly complacent

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Sir Keir said: “Labour is calling on the government to go into hiding and work with energy-intensive industries, rather than finding scapegoats for the problem.

“They should constitute task forces on a sector-by-sector basis to assess the need in each sector and formulate bespoke solutions.

“But instead he’s thrown out of office. While other countries are stepping up and acting, Britain is sitting behind surprisingly complacent.”

The European Union’s executive arm, the European Commission, on Wednesday advised 27 member states to adopt measures such as tax cuts and state aid to help homes and businesses cope with the effects of high energy prices.

Sir Keir also said: “Our energy-intensive industries such as steel are a cornerstone of British manufacturing and are vital to our economic recovery.

“Our steel industry is not only a proud industry of our past but – with Labour’s £3 billion, 10-year commitment to making British Steel green – a proud industry of our future.

“It is important that we get a grip on the energy crisis. Millions are already feeling the pinch as energy prices rise, and the huge risk on businesses and jobs, we need to prevent this from escalating into a winter crisis in the industry. should support.”

shadow chancellor Rachel Reeves Pledged that a Labor government would “collaborate, with businesses, workers, industry bodies and unions working together in a national effort”.

/ PA Wire

On Tuesday, UK Steel Director General Gareth Stace told BBC News he had yet to see the details of what the government was proposing to help industries, but warned that if the support was not enough, jobs could be lost. may be missed and plants may shut down.

He added: “The important test in this proposal is whether we will now be on an equal footing with the steel makers in Germany?

“If as a result of this package we are still paying 80% more for energy than our rivals in continental Europe, that is actually a really big crisis we are going through at the moment.”

Before leaving on holiday in Spain, the Prime Minister boris johnson reportedly backed a plan being developed by the business secretary quasi quartengo Firms threatened to close in the winter for state loans.

The move follows the Whitehall turf war between Mr Quarteng and the Treasury late last week, in which the Treasury has denied the government has any plans to act.

A spokesman for the Department of Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy said: “We are determined to secure a competitive future for our energy-intensive industries, which is why we have taken the lead in energy costs in recent years. have provided £2 billion and to help protect jobs.

“Ministers and officials continue to engage constructively with industry to help and mitigate the effects of high global gas prices.

“In some countries in Europe industrial electricity prices are low because some of the cost is recovered from consumer bills.

“The government is also reviewing its public procurement regulations to be able to meet the needs of this country, now that we have left the European Union.”

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