You can read Sharon's latest Echo Column below or on the Sunderland Echo website.
Britain’s social care system is on its knees
A decade of Conservative and Lib-Dem rule has seen a generation of older people struggle to access the care they both need and deserve. Years of neglect have brought about high employee turnover, low pay and chronic funding shortages which plague the sector. It is no exaggeration to say that the Conservatives are the party of levelling down.
New analysis by Labour reveals that Chancellor Rishi Sunak will hit every key worker earning over £18,000 in England with a real-terms pay cut next year.
This includes 52,267 key workers in the North East region – the teachers, police officers and Armed Forces personnel on the front line of the battle against Covid-19.
At the Spending Review on 25 November, the Chancellor announced a ‘pay freeze’ for all public sector workers earning above £24,000 in 2021-22.
NHS workers weren’t included, while those earning less than £24,000 were promised “a fixed increase of £250”.
Taking into account inflation over the next fiscal year, that means every non-NHS public sector worker earning over £18,000 will actually get a real-terms pay cut.
In the North East this includes:
• 5,691 police officers
• 23,471 teachers
• 22,035 civil servants, including tax inspectors, prison officers and probation officers
• 1,070 members of the Armed Forces
That’s a pay cut for every police officer in England, all 501,000 teachers in English state-funded schools and over 90% of the Armed Forces personnel based in England.
On top of the pay freeze, the Spending Review also contained a one-billion-pound council tax bombshell hidden in the small print and a cut to Universal Credit that will hit those who can least afford it.
Labour has condemned this triple hammer blow to people’s pockets as totally irresponsible when the economy is so fragile.
Making people worried about making ends meet will pull spending out of local high streets and small businesses, damaging consumer confidence at the very moment the Government should be building it up.
Sharon Hodgson MP said:
“The Chancellor was happy to clap for our key workers on his front step on Downing Street, but now that push has come to shove he has failed to show them the respect they deserve. Clapping doesn’t pay the bills.
“I believe those who serve our country deserve fair reward; by cutting their real-terms pay, the Government are punishing those who serve our country every day.
“The country needs a plan to recover jobs and rebuild businesses to fight the wave of unemployment. The Chancellor must think again.”
Shadow Chancellor Anneliese Dodds said:
“Key workers kept our country going this year, but the Chancellor has rewarded over a million of them with a real-terms pay cut.
“It’s totally irresponsible to hit workers in their pockets when the economy is so weak, but the least the Chancellor can do is be upfront about it.
“Instead, he’s trying to pull the wool over the eyes of the police officers, teachers and Armed Forces personnel who’ve kept the country going during this pandemic.
“They shouldn’t have to carry the can for this Government’s mistakes.”
Update on Coronavirus – September 2020
- As at 24 Sept 2020.
New measures have been introduced across the North East, including in our constituency, to try and bring down the rising number of Coronavirus cases. New nationwide guidance has also been introduced, but please note the local measures override those.
Sharon Hodgson, Member of Parliament for Washington & and Sunderland West and Shadow Minister for Veterans has welcomed the new measures in Washington and Sunderland West and across the North East, aimed at curbing the rising cases of Coronavirus.
(Clicking on the above image will take you to guidance provided by the Government on the new restrictions)
Sharon is calling on all constituents to follow the measures, in order to keep everyone safe and ensure that our NHS is not overwhelmed.
Full guidance from the Government can be found here:
Information from Sunderland City Council, including FAQs, can be found here:
‘’I welcome the new measures being introduced, as the rise in cases of coronavirus in recent days has been concerning. The Government must now provide any additional support that our Local Authority needs for improved testing and to support people where necessary.
‘’It is vitally important that everyone follows the new measures, in order to keep us all safe, and protect our NHS.
‘’This will be a challenging time for many people, but I know that we can work together and bring the cases down in the coming days and weeks.’’
Last updated: 26/06/2020
Government guidance here:
Coronavirus outbreak FAQs: what you can and can't do after 4 July >
Advise links below include:
General health advice from Public Health England >
Some legal advice help pages >
Some NHS and charities Health advice:
Advice from Public Health England is regularly updated here >
Advice for pregnant women from the Royal College of Obstetricians & Gynaecologists here >
Advice at work:
< Back to list <
Support in the community (Local Community Facebook pages):
In the Sunderland North Wards - Castle and Redhill - here >
< Back to list <
Stay at home if you or anyone in your house has coronavirus symptoms
Stay at home for 14 days if you or anyone in your house has either:
- a high temperature
- a new, continuous cough
- loss of or a change in your normal sense of smell and taste
Do NOT go to a GP surgery, pharmacy or hospital.
How long to stay at home:
- if you have symptoms, stay at home for 7 days
- if you live with other people, they should stay at home for 14 days from the day the first person got symptoms
- if you live with someone who is 70 or over, has a long-term condition, is pregnant or has a weakened immune system, try to find somewhere else for them to stay for 14 days.
If you have to stay at home together, try to keep away from each other as much as possible.
You do not need to contact 111 to tell them you're staying at home.
< Back to list <
Regarding the news that a Nightingale Hospital will be developed at IAMP in Washington, Sharon said:
“The announcement that a temporary hospital will be developed at IAMP truly brings home the scale of the Coronavirus. It is a sobering thought that this facility will be needed and shows just how seriously individuals and businesses must take this issue.
“This dedicated Coronavirus facility will help save lives and will take some of the pressure off local hospitals, such as Sunderland Royal, South Tyneside District Hospital, the QE in Gateshead and Newcastle hospitals, and ensure that local people are cared for locally.
“My thoughts are with those who have lost loved ones, as well as other individuals who have contracted the virus. I pay tribute to all those working in the NHS who are treating and caring for those with Coronavirus. We all have a duty to help prevent the spread of the virus and that is why I urge everyone to stay at home if they are able to.”