Washington and Sunderland MP slams energy bill hikes

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A WEARSIDE MP has criticised ministers over their refusal to stand up to the Big Six energy companies, recounting her own experience of growing up in fuel poverty.

Sharon Hodgson was speaking in a debate in Parliament on a motion which called on the Government to implement a 20-month freeze in energy bills while the market for electricity and gas is reformed to ensure consumers get a better deal.

Mrs Hodgson, who grew up in the area, spoke about having ice on the inside of her windows as a child and having the electricity disconnected when her mother couldn’t pay the bill. She likened her experience to those of young mothers spending hours at children’s centres to avoid having the heating and lights on at home.

And also to pensioners in Sunderland having to wash with a kettleful of water in their sink because they can’t afford to heat the water for a bath.

Speaking after the motion was defeated, Mrs Hodgson said: “My constituents will be bitterly disappointed that the Government have rejected a plan which would provide a real boost for struggling households and small businesses.”