Aid Package Announced As SSI Goes Into Liquidation
As the Government announces an £80m Aid Package for the steelworkers losing their jobs at SSI Redcar, it's been announced that the Thai owners of the company have put it into Liquidation.
A message posted on the SSI website overnight mentions that it had entered "rehabilitation" under Thai law, meaning effectively that with liabilities exceeding assets, it has to appoint a Planner (effectively an Administrator).
It will make it extremely difficult for local companies that have serviced the plant over the years and are collectively owned hundreds of thousands of pounds, to see their money.
The Government Aid funding includes:
- money for affected workers to train in local further education colleges and tailored Jobcentre Plus support
- finance to assist workers to start up their own business and for local small businesses to grow and create jobs
The Department for Business has said in a statement: "On the basis of the limited business case it was given, the Government has no confidence that this is a realistic proposal for taxpayers to support.
The Government will also consider proposals put forward by the local taskforce being led by Amanda Skelton, Chief Executive of Redcar and Cleveland Borough Council. Business Secretary Sajid Javid and Business Minister Anna Soubry are both be attending a meeting of the taskforce in Redcar today.
Sajid Javid said: "This is an extremely difficult time for the workforce at SSI and the local community. The package we are announcing today will provide important support to workers and the local economy. Across Government, we will continue to focus on providing assistance where we can.
After weeks of discussions the Government can also confirm that the company made a last minute and unrealistic request for the taxpayer to make an open-ended funding commitment to maintain the coke ovens in Redcar. The Government cannot accept the request. On the basis of the limited business case it was given, the Government has no confidence that this is a realistic proposal for taxpayers to support. In addition, it would be illegal and in breach of state aid rules. The company has never made a profit and the board’s proposal would do nothing to address the huge debts outstanding to local suppliers and other parties.
The Government will be holding a steel summit on Friday 16 October 2015. Steel companies, MPs, Trade unions, Welsh and Scottish government representatives will be invited to look at how best to work together to find solutions to the challenges being faced in the current very difficult global market conditions. It will also start mapping out a path to a sustainable future for the industry.