UK steelstockholders are likely to be among the companies linked with heavymanufacturing industries who watch this year’s Autumn Statement withconsiderable interest to see if the Chancellor does anything to help them.

For majormanufacturing sectors – steel included – environmental concerns are still highon the agenda, and manufacturers’ organisation EEF has called on the Chancellorto ensure energy-intensive businesses are not put under unbearable pressure dueto environmental policies.

TerryScuoler, chief executive of EEF, says: “[Government] must act now to stopplanned rises in energy taxes and set out a long-term commitment to compensateenergy-intensive industries.

“Withoutthis, we risk losing out on the investment in new technology and jobs that oureconomy desperately needs.”

EEF areasking George Osborne to freeze planned increases in the Climate Change Levy,along with costs relating to carbon footprints, and refresh the NationalInfrastructure Plan with a timeline for delivery.

If any orall of these things are done, it is likely to come as welcome news to UK steelstockholders, who would have cause to celebrate if infrastructure investmentwere increased or accelerated, and climate-related charges on businesses frozenor dropped.