Yesterday, the Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills (BIS) Sajid Javid MP gave an update to Parliament on the UK steel crisis. I took the opportunity to ask the Secretary for reassurances that BIS will not cut jobs at the Cardiff office of the Insolvency Service.
Sadly, the Secretary failed to provide any such assurance, and simply said that cuts to BIS won’t impede on its ability to manage a crisis. Judging by the actions of the Government so far on dealing with Tata steel, I am doubtful about the crisis-management ability.
The Insolvency service provides invaluable assistance to people across the UK, and employs hundreds of people in Cardiff. I am hugely disappointed with the Secretary’s response to my question, and his inability to assure the protection of jobs here in Wales is extremely concerning.
My question to the Secretary was:
I am sure the Secretary of State’s civil servants in BIS have been working extremely hard trying to safeguard the 40,000 Welsh steel and supplier jobs at immediate risk, just as staff at the Insolvency Service were critical in ensuring Redcar steelworkers received their redundancy payments.
So will he reassure my constituents, that the hundreds of BIS department job losses at that critical Insolvency Service in Cardiff, outlined in the McKinsey report won’t happen adding to the misery of Welsh workers?
In response, the Minister said:
“What I can assure the honourable lady is that any job reductions sadly that are taking places across any of BIS or any other government department, as there are more than just one department involved in this than just BIS, though of course we are the lead department won’t have an impact on our ability to help and handle the UK steel crisis.”
You can watch the exchange here: