WESTMINSTER DIARIES: Jaguar Land Rover job losses deeply concerning - The Solihull Observer

WESTMINSTER DIARIES: Jaguar Land Rover job losses deeply concerning

Solihull Editorial 21st Apr, 2018   0

I am hugely concerned by the disturbing news that Jaguar Land Rover, one of Solihull’s most important employers, plans to lay off a thousand staff from its Lode Lane plant.

JLR are committed to moving full-time employees over from Castle Bromwich whilst letting the contracts of agency workers lapse at the Solihull plant, in response to “headwinds facing the car industry”.

This will doubtless be causing a great deal of uncertainty for many local workers. I am in regular contact with the JLR management and will make sure that residents’ concerns are properly communicated – if you or someone you know has been affected by this move then please don’t hesitate to get in touch with my office.

JLR has enjoyed years of outstanding growth, and has played a huge role in building Solihull’s well-earned reputation as an exporting town with truly global reach. Whilst nobody can wave a magic wand and transform market conditions, I believe that the Government should always take practical steps to support British exporters.

In this instance, that has to mean taking a more sensible approach to regulating diesel cars. Diesel apparently account for about 90 per cent of JLR’s output – but in the aftermath of the Volkswagen emissions scandal, a combination of new taxes and public confusion have squeezed sales.

Nobody denies that protecting the environment is important. But in the fury over Volkswagen many have lost sight of the fact that modern diesels are cleaner than ever. In fact, What Car? magazine’s current Car of the Year is a diesel – and it manages to combine the low CO2 that made diesels popular with less NOx output than many petrols!

Here in Parliament I am proud to stand up for motorists and our car industry. That’s why I chaired the All-Party Parliamentary Group for Fairer Fuel, and continue to support it today.

I hope to soon meet with ministers to explain the huge importance of this industry to our town, and press the case for a tax and regulation system which protects our environment without unfairly penalising modern diesel cars and all who build and drive them.

Julian Knight MP

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