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Steel Industry

Part of the debate – in the House of Commons at 12:09 pm on 26th May 2016.

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Photo of Iain Wright Iain Wright Chair, Business, Innovation and Skills Committee, Chair, Education, Skills and the Economy Sub-Committee 12:09 pm, 26th May 2016

I welcome the Work and Pensions Secretary’s rhetoric in today’s written statement, when he says:

“Britain’s steel industry is an important part of our economy and this Government is working to help the industry secure a long-term viable future.”

However, may I push the Business Secretary on the risk that steps that are taken could set a dangerous precedent, whereby companies abdicate their responsibilities to the members of their pension schemes? So is this deal purely for steel, or are the Government extending it to other strategically important sectors of the economy or to companies that are identified as crucial to the UK? Is the Government’s preferred option the precedent of the Royal Mail scheme in 2012 in distinguishing between past and future service contributions to members’ pensions in the steel industry?