SOUTH Yorkshire MP John Healey has called on steel producer Tata to boost investment and back steel production.
It comes after changes announced in Wednesday’s Budget which means that from next year steel-making will become exempt from a tax on energy use.
Mr Healey, Labour MP for Wentworth and Dearne, had called for the introduction of a ‘metallurgic process’ exemption, which he argued would help electric arc steelmakers like Tata in Rotherham, who are high users of energy, stay competitive in Europe.
The MP told the Commons: “I have the honour of representing a steel area in Rotherham.
“Steel is one of this country’s strategic industries and the Chancellor’s announcement will be very welcome. It will help secure the industry for the future. I hope it will also help secure extra investment from Tata Steel.”
He also called on the Government to do more to boost growth.
He said: “When the Chancellor took office nearly three years ago, unemployment was falling, the economy was recovering and we had had growth of 1.9 per cent.
“Since his first Budget in June 2010, debt is up, borrowing is up, we have lost our triple A credit rating, the economy has flatlined and we have had the first double-dip recession for 40 years.”