Sunderland MPs react to Chancellor's plans to tackle cost of living crisis, branding Government 'shameful'

Sunderland MPs have branded the Government ‘shameful’ and slammed Boris Johnson and Rishi Sunak for “dithering and delay” after the Chancellor revealed new plans to tackle the rising cost of living.

Thursday, 26th May 2022, 4:56 pm

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Chancellor Rishi Sunak announced the plans, which include a windfall tax on energy companies, a £400 discount on energy bills in October and a further £650 payment for the poorest households, in the House of Commons on Thursday, May 26.

But Sunderland MPs believe more needs to be done.

MP for Washington and Sunderland West, Sharon Hodgson, said: “The Government has finally U-turned and delivered on Labour’s plan for a windfall tax. It is shameful that it has taken this Government five months to get here.

Chancellor of the Exchequer Rishi Sunak during a Cabinet meeting at 10 Downing Street, London. Picture date: Tuesday May 24, 2022.

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“In that time, we've heard countless heart wrenching stories of people simply priced out of existence. The Tories only offer support when they need their scandals out of the headlines.”

MP for Sunderland central, Julie Elliott, said: “The Government have finally responded to Labour's call for a Windfall Tax on oil and gas profits to lower energy bills.

“Shamefully, Boris Johnson and Rishi Sunak's dithering and delay has added £53million onto household bills since Labour first called for this in January.”

Bridget Phillipson MP, Labour MP for Houghton and Sunderland South and Shadow Education Secretary, said: "The Chancellor's five months of faffing about have seen families fork out over £16.5billion in energy bills. I'm glad that he has finally come to his senses, U-turned, and adopted Labour's plan for a windfall tax on oil and gas producer profits to lower bills.

Sharon Hodgson, MP

“He's had to ditch his dodgy buy now, pay later loan that was always destined for failure. But his stubbornness and pride, his refusal to change course in the face of all evidence, has left millions of working people and pensioners out of pocket.

“The Tories still have no long term plan to grow our economy and pull us out of the mess they've got us into. Only Labour will tackle the cost of living crisis, grow our economy and make it stronger to protect it from shocks."

Others have also been reacting to the news.

Amanda Bailey, director of the North East Child Poverty Commission, said: “Families across the North East will be relieved the Government has today recognised the urgency of the cost of living crisis, and the need to act now.

Julie Elliot MP

‘The majority of support announced today will be targeted at those on the lowest incomes who are at the very sharpest end of soaring household bills. The decision to deliver most of these measures as cash payments directly to families is also welcome, as the most dignified way of providing targeted support. However, the flat rate of support provided to households completely fails to recognise the additional costs of having children.

“And, whilst this has dealt with the immediate crisis facing families, the reality is that almost two in five children across our region were growing up in poverty even before we went into the pandemic, with families struggling to make ends meet well before Covid and the current cost of living crisis.

"This has left people with absolutely no financial buffer to cope with financial shocks, and it is time to fundamentally rethink the level of support families with children receive.’

Sunderland MP Bridget Phillipson