LONDON Britain’s steel industry needs a comprehensive new strategy from government to boost the sector, which has struggled with red ink, plant closures and job losses in recent years, according to a report released by a parliamentary committee on Monday.
The “Steel 2020″ report urged the government to take 43 actions to revive the sector, including cutting energy costs for the industry, fighting cheap Chinese imports and ensuring British steel is used in public projects.
“The UK steel industry has been hamstrung by government policies that place our steel industry at a significant disadvantage by comparison to global competitors,” member of parliament Stephen Kinnock said in a statement.
The report, by the University of Leeds Business School, said employment in the UK steel industry had shrunk by 59 percent since 1995.
It said the number of people employed in the wider industry, including processing, stood at 34,000.
Kinnock’s constituency in Wales includes the struggling Port Talbot plant, Britain’s biggest steel facility, owned by Tata Steel UK (TISC.NS).
In December, Tata offered British unions a deal guaranteeing jobs and investment in return for pension cuts, moving the company closer to merging its European assets with Germany’s Thyssenkrupp (TKAG.DE).
(Reporting by Eric Onstad; Editing by Dale Hudson)