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Volume 890: debated on Monday 21 April 1975

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asked the Secretary of State for Industry what are his latest estimates of the total redundancies over the next four years at the steelworks at Shotton, East Moors and Ebbw Vale, respectively; and what is his estimate of the residual employment at each of these plants when current rationalisation proposals have been fully implemented.

Following the Government's review of British Steel Corporation's closure proposals, the proposed closure at Shotton has been deferred until 1980–81, and a study is in progress of the economics of modernising steelmaking there. Shotton will continue to employ at least 6,500, and under some proposals this could be substantially higher. In the case of East Moors, the proposed closure has been deferred to not earlier than January 1980; this will be a complete closure. In the case of Ebbw Vale about 4,600 job opportunities will be lost over the next four years, but the number of redundancies is likely to be lower. After completion of the closures Ebbw Vale will continue to employ between 4,500 and 5,000.

asked the Secretary of State for Industry what is the estimated cost to the British Steel Corporation, in each of the next five years. of the deferment of steel plant closures announced in February.

I do not believe that the British Steel Corporation will suffer any significant financial penalty as a result of the deferments of closures announced on 4th February. The estimates of additional costs which have been cited in the House and elsewhere do not take account of the revenue from sales of the products to be made by the works concerned while they remain open. Any estimate of future profit or loss at each individual plant must depend on assumptions, about costs of raw materials, prices, market outlets etc., and is a matter for the corporation.