Sharon Hodgson MP

Working hard for Washington and Sunderland West.

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ECHO COLUMN: The Tories are not overseeing a cost of living crisis; they are its very cause.


The Tories are not overseeing a cost of living crisis; they are its very cause.  This year, families in the North East and nationwide will fork out an extra ​ten billion pounds on petrol, when compared to this time last year. This is money our families simply do not have.

Let’s look at how we arrived at this horrible state of affairs.  In his Spring Budget, the Chancellor promised a fuel duty cut of 5p per litre but this cut was swallowed up by the fuel companies, who raised their fuel prices by 5p and trousered the extra profit.

The Chancellor then whacked up National Insurance and reduced Universal Credit, leaving ordinary people struggling to make ends meet.

The truth is that the Government is dangerously out of touch.  Many of my constituents tell me they now choose between heating and eating.  This is not just a case of Tories being Tories, lives and livelihoods are at stake ​as the Government watches on.

Something has to give.

That’s why I am calling on the Government to announce an emergency budget, with measures to help struggling Britons with their bills.

Labour wants to see a windfall tax put on oil and gas producers, who took billions in soaring profits over recent times.  Our plan would cut household bills by up to £600.

We would also scrap the Government’s callous rise in National Insurance, saving working people money in their pocket immediately.

To pay for these changes, Labour would first protect the public purse.  The Tories’ lax attitude to crime has bled into their approach to public finance, with over twelve billion pounds of taxpayer funds lost to fraud and error.  Labour wants to see that money investigated by the National Crime Agency, so no more taxpayer cash, so desperately needed by families, goes down the drain.

What connects these policies is a stench of Conservative mismanagement.  The Prime Minister staggers from one crisis to the next, his ​government trailing behind, rudderless, as the people of Britain cry out for help.  A man concerned only with preserving his career, the Prime Minister’s time is up.  He must resign.

But he won’t, and his bad economic decisions will continue to cause pain to ordinary people.  Remember, the Conservatives are not overseeing a cost of living crisis, they are its very cause.

Send them a message on May 5th by voting for Labour.

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