Sunderland MP's fears for future of car industry jobs
A Sunderland MP spoke of her concerns on job losses in the car industry due to a combination of factors including Brexit uncertainty and a drive to get people to buy more electric vehicles.
Sharon Hodgson, for Washington and Sunderland West, called on the Government to do more to restore confidence in the sector and provide reassurance on jobs.
During the debate in Westminster Hall, she made reference to Sunderland’s Nissan plant which employs about 7,000 people and recently announced job losses.
She said the announcement was unfortunate but added: “Based on business projections, it is expected that making the changes will allow for increased production of newer models in the future that will therefore provide more jobs in the long term.”
Mrs Hodgson also raised concerns of the Government’s target to ban all sales of new petrol and diesel cars by 2040.
She said: “The UK is in the grip of an air pollution crisis ... with pollutants responsible for 40,000 premature deaths a year in the UK.”
She said the target was not ambitious enough to ensure that the UK maintains its leadership on electric vehicles.
And she said more needed to be done to encourage consumers to make the move towards electric vehicles, adding: “Reaching any target will require a seismic change in consumer behaviour.”