Steel crisis: Government urged to spend £400m on UK steel workers to support towns and families

Billy Bambrough
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Tata Prepares To Sell British Steel Operation
Steel workers were last night told by Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn that the UK will not be a proper manufacturing economy without a steel industry (Source: Getty)

The government is facing calls to spend up to £400m to support the families and towns of steelworkers hit by Indian steel giant Tata's plans to sell its UK operations.

The government has been under pressure to act since Tata announced the decision that it would be putting its UK operations up for sale early on Tuesday morning.

Earlier today Prime Minister David Cameron said the government has not ruled anything out as it seeks to solve the UK steel crisis but doesn't believe that nationalisation is the answer to the potential closure.

Read more: Tata Steel plant closure could lead to 40,000 job losses

"The government should spend £400m in support to get people into new jobs. That’s probably the most effective thing the government can do," Better Capital group boss Jon Moulton told Radio 4's Today programme.

"The right answer is to deal with the human problem and there are families and towns that are dependant on the industry. The thing is to make it as easy as possible for people to try and get their lives together again in new jobs."

Read more: Steel crisis worsens: Business secretary Sajid Javid rushes back to the UK

Tata Steel's UK business - which directly employs 15,000 workers and supports thousands of others - includes plants in Port Talbot, Rotherham, Corby and Shotton.

Private equity group Better Capital had been considered a potential buyer for the business though Moulton ruled it out saying he "wouldn't be interested" in buying a business that's losing £1m per day.

The turnaround specialist is best known for backing the failed parcel delivery firm CityLink that collapsed on Christmas eve 2014, and a failed attempt to buy MG Rover in 2000.

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