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In the News

Will the British Industry Supercharger scheme work in protecting jobs?

Graham Watson

24th February 2023

The government has moved to support energy intensive industries - steel, metals, chemicals and paper manufacturing - to ensure that they face a level playing field with their European competitors.

The so-called British Industry Supercharger Scheme is designed to protect the jobs of 400,000 workers and will see them exempted from a number of costs associated with renewable energy obligations and potentially some network charges that they face.

In total, the government support will total £5.5bn from 1 April 2023 - but it's still seen as too little in some quarters.

Fears for job losses in UK steel plants

To what extent should the government help the steel sector? The industry body, UK Steel, seems to think that without increased government help, the sector is facing a bleak future.

But surely if Economics is all about trying to ensure the efficient use of scarce resources, it makes more sense for the government to spend money on retraining steel workers, and accepting that the UK has lost its comparative advantage in the sector?

It's an emotive subject - but I suspect that former shipbuilders, miners and others who've lost their jobs in similar circumstances might take a view.

Please read: Steel industry fears more job cuts without help

Graham Watson

Graham Watson has taught Economics for over twenty years. He contributes to tutor2u, reads voraciously and is interested in all aspects of Teaching and Learning.

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