Labour Ministers must go much further in creating favourable conditions for Wales’ steel industry, Kirsty Williams has said today.
In response to the First Minister’s statement, Kirsty Williams, Leader of the Welsh Liberal Democrats, said:
“Wales’ steel industry is of national strategic importance and must be secured for the long term. The thought of a Britain that doesn’t produce its own steel is unthinkable.
“Today was an opportunity to make a clear statement to potential buyers that the Labour Welsh Government will help create favourable conditions. That opportunity has been missed today by the failure to scrap business rates on heavy machinery like steel plants.
“I am equally stunned that procurement did not come up once in the First Minister’s statement. The Welsh Government must commission an audit of Welsh procurement to ensure that we’re setting purchasing criteria that match Welsh steel’s talents. It must also publish new guidance for public infrastructure projects that use steel.
“The last week has been devastating for workers and their families, the local community in Port Talbot, and for the wider Welsh economy. However, we can be confident that we produce the best steel in the world. We need both governments working flat out to ensure a buyer is found and that the plant keeps going while this happens.”
Watch Kirsty Williams' response to the First Minister in the Assembly below.