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  • Terry Reeve (2nd April 2016)

    All my life (now 70 years of age) I have worked in the steel construction industry as an engineer and I have watched the steady decline of our proud engineering heritage whilst listening to the constant and erroneous statements that we can’t compete. We can compete and be better than any competitor but only if we have a level playing field.
    Once China has ensured the destruction of its major competitors in steel production are we really so naive as to think that their steel prices will remain low? This country will end up not only paying a high monetary price for steel but will also be faced with the burden of high unemployment, a non-existent skill base and reduced revenue from tax.
    The fundamental is this:
    Do we sacrifice yet another heavy industry, along with thousands of people who currently have a strong work ethic which they pass on to their children, and in so doing pay the financial and social cost in terms of decimated communities becoming areas full of de-skilled and disillusioned adults with little or no opportunity to work, thus spawning a long-term benefit culture or do we pay money to ensure the survival of skills, the means of production, market autonomy and a disciplined workforce?
    One thing I have learnt over the years is that if there is a problem, no matter how large, there is always a satisfactory solution if those in power are prepared to apply appropriate pressure and do the right thing.
    This country will pay out regardless of which way this government jumps but I sincerely hope the human cost is less than it needs to be.