David Cameron has been accused of misleading steelworkers losing their jobs after it emerged an £80m fund to help them find new work will partly be used to pay their final salaries and redundancy packages.
Anna Turley, the Labour MP for Redcar, said she had seen an email to a constituent from James Wharton, the northern powerhouse minister, that confirmed the aid cash to support the workers was actually also a bailout fund for salaries they were due from their employers.
The prime minister said the government had done a lot to help the thousands of steelworkers being made redundant in Teesside and elsewhere.
But he also insisted the closure and mothballing of steel plants was a world problem largely beyond the UK government’s control.
“Let me tell the honourable lady what we can’t do. We can’t, in this house, set the world price of steel,” he said.
Why not? He wanted you to believe Labour started a worldwide economic recession – in that house! Setting the price of steel should be child’s play in comparison.
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