MONMOUTH MP David Davies has called for a reduction in carbon taxes to help prevent further job losses in the Welsh steel industry.
He spoke out after Tata Steel confirmed its plans to axe more than 1,000 jobs, including 750 from the Port Talbot plant.
The Indian firm blamed falling European steel prices “caused by a flood of cheap imports, particularly from China”.
Hundreds of other UK jobs cuts were announced by Tata last year.
Industry officials have pushed for a level playing field so the company can compete in the European and global marketplace.
Measures could include lowering business rates and supporting energy efficiency.
But Mr Davies, who chairs the Welsh Affairs Committee, said taxing companies for emitting carbon dioxide and subsidising expensive forms of energy generation through higher electricity has been “a disaster”.
“It is done in the name of the “environment” but all we are doing is helping our competitors, particularly in China, where environmental standards are much lower,” he said.
“Steel production uses huge amounts of electricity and as a result of various green taxes which are levied, UK manufacturers pay far higher costs for energy than competitors elsewhere in the world.
“Companies like Tata and Celsa have been warning for some years that the increased costs they pay for electricity could have a huge impact on their ability to manufacture steel at competitive rates.”
The MP warned that so-called green taxes are not the only problem.
He added: “There is a worldwide surplus of steel so prices have been cut and steel has been pouring in from China.
“There are attempts to halt this but trade rules are dealt with by the EU and our elected government cannot simply overturn them.
“Electricity from renewable energy costs 2-3 times more than energy from fossil fuels. We can continue to phase out our coal and gas stations, which produce cheap electricity, and switch to renewables.
“But we must realise it will mean the end of large-scale heavy manufacturing in the UK.
“My personal view is that the hysteria over climate change and the green taxes which have resulted are a huge mistake which should be reversed.”