Plans recently launched by the Welsh Liberal Democrats to cut business rates on new plant and machinery would be a welcome boost to Wales’ struggling steel industry, the party has said today.
On the day of a Welsh Government steel industry summit, the Welsh Lib Dems have urged Labour Ministers to “use the tools at their disposal” and adopt the party’s plans. The First Minister has previously refused to endorse the plans when questioned in the Senedd.
Welsh Lib Dem Leader Kirsty Williams AM announced the party’s plans in her speech to the Liberal Democrats’ Autumn Conference in September.
Eluned Parrott AM, Welsh Liberal Democrat Shadow Economy Minister, said:
“There is no doubt that after years of struggle and uncertainty, our steel industry is in desperate need of help. We need to be doing all we can to provide certainty to workers and their families, and secure the future of Welsh steel.
“Many of the changes needed – dealing with high energy costs, for example – aren’t within the responsibilities of Welsh Government, but that’s no excuse for inaction. Scrapping business rates on plant and machinery won’t solve all the steel industry’s problems, but it’s a tool at Labour’s disposal that it has so far failed to use.
“Adopting the Welsh Lib Dem plan would end the ridiculous penalisation of businesses who invest in and expand their machinery. The most constructive thing that could come out of Labour’s summit today is a commitment to put this idea into practice.”