SSI to make repayments to Redcar & Cleveland council

Repaying business rate debt: SSI

Repaying business rate debt: SSI

First published in News The Northern Echo: Photograph of the Author by

A STEEL company has pledged to pay the £19.1m it owes to a North-East council in full by the end of next month, The Northern Echo has learned.

SSI UK, which owns the former British Steel plant at Redcar, owes the amount in business rates to Redcar & Cleveland Council, which met today (Tuesday, February 25) to discuss its budget plans for the coming year.

The Northern Echo understands that SSI UK, with backing from its parent company in Thailand, has pledged to repay the debt in three instalments, with the third and final being handed over before the end of this financial year, March 31.

The payment of the debt is believed to be crucial to the council balancing its books for the year.

While the council's cabinet did not mention SSI by name at its meeting today or discuss the exact amount owed, they spoke of the “large company” which owed business rates.

Councillor Mark Hannon said: “The amount of investment we are getting off the back of that is quite substantial and that is the real issue – we have to try to balance things.

“If we collect that debt too rigorously we face the closing of that industry and losing all that employment and I don’t envy anyone to try and recover that.”

SSI has pumped hundreds of millions of pounds into the Redcar steelworks.

It relit the steel furnace in April 2012 – but has still to make a profit due to rising raw materials costs, the heavy costs of restarting production, and falling steel prices.

The company has now made five million tonnes of steel slab since it restarted production in 2012, with the milestone being reached late on Saturday.

Councillors spoke of their regret that 150 jobs had to be cut from the council in the past year due to budget cuts from central government, but they praised its human resources department for managing to reduce compulsory redundancies to just 20.

The council must cut £19.4m from its budget over the next three years and £33.8m by 2020. It has already cut about £32m in the last three years.

Of £6m the council had invested in Icelandic banks before the collapse at the start of the credit crunch, £5m had been clawed back from administrators, Councillor Norman Pickthall, the Cabinet member for finance, said.

 

Comments (4)

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1:36am Wed 26 Feb 14

SirLance says...

The council did not mention the large company by name! If things were reversed and a British company didn't pay tax's for it's operations in THAILAND they would be kicked out after being heavily fined! BTW you would never even get to such an amount of debt!--- 19+million pounds! they are taking the Michael here! 19 thousand in Thailand and the heavies would be round! The British Government has paid over the odds to keep this business going and keep locals employed yet the owners (typically for Thai's) still play the game. Learn something you Brits!
The council did not mention the large company by name! If things were reversed and a British company didn't pay tax's for it's operations in THAILAND they would be kicked out after being heavily fined! BTW you would never even get to such an amount of debt!--- 19+million pounds! they are taking the Michael here! 19 thousand in Thailand and the heavies would be round! The British Government has paid over the odds to keep this business going and keep locals employed yet the owners (typically for Thai's) still play the game. Learn something you Brits! SirLance
  • Score: -4

9:19am Wed 26 Feb 14

smokin says...

wonder how long they would wait if council house rent was owed ?????
wonder how long they would wait if council house rent was owed ????? smokin
  • Score: -1

9:31am Wed 26 Feb 14

st-george1 says...

It would be more acceptable for R&C council to seize and return to the taxpayers the assets of those in SSI who stopped the £19 million payment of business rates and kept it secret AND then charged those responsible in the council with serious misconduct in public office ,who agreed to this abuse of taxpayers moneys … £19 million PLUS years of interest should mean no further council tax increases for years to come and a warning to all Labour councils because lesssons need to be learned, public inquiry or not !
It would be more acceptable for R&C council to seize and return to the taxpayers the assets of those in SSI who stopped the £19 million payment of business rates and kept it secret AND then charged those responsible in the council with serious misconduct in public office ,who agreed to this abuse of taxpayers moneys … £19 million PLUS years of interest should mean no further council tax increases for years to come and a warning to all Labour councils because lesssons need to be learned, public inquiry or not ! st-george1
  • Score: -2

2:02am Thu 27 Feb 14

SirLance says...

st-George!1 is absolutely correct in his approach to this issue. I don't know how long the 19 m has been unpaid for but i assume its an accumulation over many months (??). That's a serious amount of money we are talking about here! If you could borrow half that amount what would be the interest you would have to pay on it! Crippling to say the least! I's worth a check to see if some of these R&C council leaders have been on a paid for holiday to Pattaya or Phuket in Thailand. Maybe some photos taken in some strange massage parlors? Will we ever know?
st-George!1 is absolutely correct in his approach to this issue. I don't know how long the 19 m has been unpaid for but i assume its an accumulation over many months (??). That's a serious amount of money we are talking about here! If you could borrow half that amount what would be the interest you would have to pay on it! Crippling to say the least! I's worth a check to see if some of these R&C council leaders have been on a paid for holiday to Pattaya or Phuket in Thailand. Maybe some photos taken in some strange massage parlors? Will we ever know? SirLance
  • Score: -2

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