“Time for Welsh Government to turn words into action” - Leanne Wood

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Plaid Cymru leader Leanne Wood has said that the Welsh Government should show ambition and work proactively in order to minimise the damaging impact of Tata's decision to sell its UK operations.

Leanne Wood said that the government should seek to work with Tata to help find an alternative investor and support Tata in order to access both the European Fund for Strategic Investment and Horizon 2020 funds.

Plaid Cymru has previously said that the Welsh Government should consider taking a temporary stake in the company if an alternative investor cannot be found immediately. This would help the company build a new power station on site, which in turn will knock down emissions and energy costs - something Tata has identified as a problem. The UK Government should be an active participant in this work, she said.

In the interim, Plaid Cymru leader Leanne Wood said that the National Assembly should be recalled in order to co-ordinate a political response.

The First Minister has previously dismissed calls for the Welsh Government to enter into a joint venture with the company, arguing that it would cost "many millions of pounds".

Plaid Cymru leader Leanne Wood said:

"Both governments have been slow to react to this crisis. Plaid Cymru were putting forward proposals to save our steel industry two months ago. That's time that has been lost now.

"The First Minister has previously dismissed Plaid Cymru's calls for government to enter into a joint venture with the company in order to secure its future to get it through these difficult times. It is the opinion of the Party of Wales that the steel industry and the jobs in that industry are an important part of the Welsh economy and too valuable to lose.

"If the Welsh Government can find £1 billion to spend on a new stretch of motorway in the south-east of the country, then it can secure the future of one of Wales' most important industries for less. Is the steel industry less strategically important to our economy than an airport, for example? And the UK Government should contribute to the effort too, as well as doing more at an EU level to use tariffs to stop the dumping of Chinese steel.

"Plaid Cymru has called for the recall of the Assembly in order to coordinate a political response to the crisis.

"Steel can have a good future in Wales with the right government support. Both the UK and Welsh Government need to ensure that Tata's plants in Wales are as attractive as possible to potential investors.

"Plaid Cymru has said for some time that all options should be on the table for the government as we seek to save our steel industry - it's time for the Welsh Government to turn words into action."

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