Sharon Hodgson MP

Working hard for Washington and Sunderland West.

Cost of living crisis - help advice

It concerns me greatly that many constituents are having to choose between eating and heating, not knowing how they will make it through the winter.


With average energy bills having increased by over 50% in the first half of 2022, and with further rises coming, doing nothing is not an option. 

The Labour Party has now brought forward our £29 billion plan to stop bills going up this winter, paid for by taxing oil and gas producers who are making record profits.

Our plan would typically save households £1000, while also bringing inflation down by 4%.

This would make interest rate rises less likely and ease the burden on households and businesses.

Labour would make sure bills come down in the long term, too, by investing more in sustainable British energy sources that mean we won't have to rely on expensive fossil fuels.  Meanwhile​ our Warm Homes Plan will insulate millions more homes to reduce the amount of energy we need and save more money off bills.

As an opposition MP, I unfortunately have no say over current Government policy.  If Labour were in Government we would make sure no one pays over the odds for gas and electricity.

Labour would act now to bring bills down, paid for by extra tax from oil and gas producers who are making record profits.

Labour’s fully-funded plan would fix the problems immediately and for the future – helping people get through the winter while providing the foundations for a stronger, more secure economy. 

Please find below some practical advice on dealing with the Cost-of-Living crisis.

This guidance also provides the details of different organisations and charities that can provide specialist advice and support.  

To double-check that you are receiving all the benefits that you are entitled to, you can use the Turn 2 Us benefits calculator:  

Some benefits will mean that claimants may be eligible for any future support from the Government (such as the Cost-of-Living payment), so it is worth starting a claim as soon as possible.  

If you are struggling to pay your bills and any debts that you may have it would be beneficial to seek budgeting and debt advice.  Several different organisations can provide this specialist advice:

- National Debtline: 0808 808 4000 (Monday to Friday 9am – 8pm and Saturday 9.30am – 1pm)

- Stepchange: 0800 138 1111 (Monday – Friday 8am – 8pm and Saturday 8am – 4pm)  

Constituents can search for charitable grants using the Turn 2 Us grants search tool:  

Most grant applications need to be made by a registered charity or a professional.  You can search for local charities who may be able to support your application by using the Advice Local search tool:  

For general energy advice constituents can seek advice from:

- Citizens Advice Consumer Helpline: 0808 223 1133 (Monday to Friday 9am – 5pm)

- National Energy Advice: 0800 304 7159 (Monday to Friday 10am – 12pm)

Please refer to this guidance from the Citizens Advice Bureau about government schemes that aim to help with rising energy bills:

Citizens Advice website - Grants and benefits  

If you have any specific issues that you feel I can help address, please do not hesitate to contact me via email and I can do my best to support you in your situation.

Posted: 24/08/2022

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