PORT Talbot’s leading Labour politicians have urged the Westminster Government to back Tata’s strategy for steel making in the town.
Aberavon MP Hywel Francis and AM David Rees toured the works with MEP Derek Vaughan.
Tata has called on the Government to encourage further investment in the steel industry in Wales by looking at ways to make UK energy prices more competitive internationally, to reduce the corporate tax burden, upgrade transport links and improve workplace skills.
Mr Francis and Mr Rees said after their visit: “We endorse Tata’s vision for the UK Government to commit itself to a long term strategy for manufacturing in Wales and Britain.
“We agreed, as elected Labour representatives, that Tata’s vision for an industrial policy for the UK must be seriously considered.
“Such an industrial policy would include a greater degree of influence upon UK supply chains, a level playing field to address energy costs and tax burdens, strategic investments such as high speed rail links, a highly skilled workforce and anchor company strategies, such as partnerships.”
Dr Francis and Mr Rees added: “We welcome the significant investment already made by Tata in steel making, especially here in Port Talbot, and their commitment to future investment which has been highlighted by First Minister Carwyn Jones.
“We now call upon the UK Government actively to support this commitment, and put into place the right policies to allow steel making to grow.”
Tata is currently completing the £185 million rebuild of the No. 4 blast furnace at Port Talbot, and is investing a further £53 million in a basic oxygen steelmaking project energy recovery plant at the site.