THE WELSH Government has not provided direct financial support to Tata Steel since 2019, it has been revealed.

The multinational company, which runs sites in Port Talbot and Llanwern, plans to cut 2,500 jobs in the UK over the next 18 months - and another 300 within three years.

Most of the affected roles are at Port Talbot, where both of the remaining blast furnaces are being replaced with an electric arc furnace that requires fewer workers.

The UK Government has contributed £500 million to help Tata’s sustainability plans.

'Nothing but warm words'

Unions representing workers at Tata Llanwern rallied against comments made by the business secretary Kemi Badenoch suggesting the half-a-billion-pounds support package was “about the jobs saved” rather than lost.

South Wales Argus: Steelworkers and Labour representatives have rallied to 'save our steel'Steelworkers and Labour representatives have rallied to 'save our steel' (Image: Jessica Morden MP)

Despite calls for Westminster to do more to protect jobs in steel, the Welsh Government has given Tata just £17 million since 2009 and nothing since 2019.

Economy minister Vaughan Gething said the grant funding – “more than £17 million” – covered skills, research and development and environmental projects.

He said the company had no requested any further grant funding from Cardiff Bay since 2019.

“Tata Steel has however received ongoing support for engineering, craft and management apprenticeships,” he said.

READ MORE: Union leader wants 'cast-iron guarantee' for steelworks as Tata prepares to axe jobs

“Clearly the Welsh Government does not have the resources or indeed the powers that the UK Government has, but since the UK Government and Company’s joint announcement on 15 September, we have continued to make it clear that we would be prepared to do what we can to support the Company and its employees.

“It was disappointing that the Welsh Government was excluded from discussions on the agreement reached in September last year, leaving us unsighted on aspects that touch on devolved competence.

“I have written to successive Secretary of States regarding Tata and made it clear that we were prepared to do what we can to support the company while making the case for a reliable and formal dialogue that includes the Welsh Government in ongoing talks.”

Welsh Conservative leader Andrew RT Davies said he was “frankly shocked” by the extent of the Welsh Government’s financial support.

“Despite their vocal opposition to the UK Government’s rescue package for Tata Steel, Labour’s financial support for steelworkers has been non-existent in recent years,” he said.

“It really has been nothing but warm words.

“The UK Conservative Government have invested half a billion pounds to keep the Port Talbot operation going, saving thousands of jobs – Labour have offered nothing but criticism.”