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State support of Tata Steel is gamble with taxpayers’ money


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Reaction to Government's pledged support of Tata Steel

Commenting on the government’s announcement that they will take a stake of up to 25% in Tata Steel’s UK operations to support its sale, Mark Littlewood Director General of the Institute of Economic Affairs said:

“Unfortunately the problems of UK steel are structural, not cyclical. With energy, labour and other production costs much higher than those in say China or Germany, it is very unlikely the UK steel industry is viable over the long term without a dramatic change in tax and energy policies. It is severely misguided of the government to gamble with taxpayer’s money in the hope that the industry will be revived against all odds.

“Instead of throwing money at the problem, the government should focus on how to reduce the cost of government policies that harm the steel industry – green taxes, for example – and empower communities affected by such economic change to adjust and move on to new economic sectors.”

Notes to editors:

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The mission of the Institute of Economic Affairs is to improve understanding of the fundamental institutions of a free society by analysing and expounding the role of markets in solving economic and social problems.

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