Emma’s work for South Shields: In Parliament

March 27, 2015

Houses of ParliamentBelow is a summary of Emma’s work in Parliament since she was elected in May 2013.

Standing up for you in South Shields

Since entering Parliament Emma has taken every opportunity to raise the big issues facing people in South Shields at the highest level. When constituents have come to Emma with problems, Emma has taken their cases up with Ministers through letters, written questions and questions in the House of Commons itself. Emma has even taken cases right to the top by raising them with David Cameron at Prime Minister’s Questions, whether they are a constituent who has been unfairly affected by the Government’s cruel Bedroom Tax or someone who has waited more than nine months for a delayed benefit assessment.

Promoting the issues that matter in Shields

Emma wants to make sure the concerns of her constituents are heard loud and clear in Parliament. Following the closure of Marks & Spencer on King Street last year many local residents expressed concerns about the local high street, and so Emma called a debate in Parliament to put those concerns directly to the Local Government Minister. Emma has also highlighted the threat to local health services under the Tories, challenging the Prime Minister over the proposed closure of the nearby Jarrow Walk-in Centre that will put extra pressure on South Tyneside Hospital.

The Bedroom Tax is the number one issue for many households in Shields, and Emma has raised this issue at every level, including securing a debate, voting with Labour MPs for a motion that would have abolished the tax (sadly defeated by the Government) and backing a bill to protect the most vulnerable individuals.

Emma hasn’t just given South Shields a voice in Parliament – she has brought Parliament to South Shields as well. Emma brought the All-Party Inquiry into Hunger and Food Poverty to Shields last year to take evidence from local charities and food bank users.

Emma has co-sponsored Bills to raise the minimum wage and abolish exploitative zero-hours contracts, and has voted in favour of an energy price freeze that will save every household in Shields £120. Emma also backs Labour’s plans for affordable rents.

Campaigning for a fairer economy

As well as backing a higher minimum wage that will make work pay, Emma has backed Labour’s plans for a Jobs Guarantee to help long-term unemployed people into work. She has spoken out against the unfair sanctioning of benefit claimants, companies that break minimum wage laws and the use of employment loopholes to con workers out of a fair wage.

Emma believes that most people aren’t feeling the benefits of economic recovery, and that is why she has called for stronger action to make sure the rich pay their fair share. Emma backs a clampdown on tax avoidance, and the Government’s decision to give a tax cut to those at the very top of the income scale.

Rescuing our NHS

The NHS is a major priority for Emma and for many people in Shields, and Emma has backed a Bill that would reverse Tory privatisation of health services and make sure patients are put first. She has highlighted the threat of Tory cuts to local NHS services like the Bede Wing ward closure, and supports a £2.5 billion Time to Care Fund to invest in our NHS and hire 20,000 extra doctors, 8,000 new nurses and 5,000 more care staff.

Emma also sat on the Care Bill, where she opposed the Government’s plans to give themselves the power to close hospitals against the will of local people, and highlighted the funding crisis facing social care as a result of £3.5 billion of Government cuts.

Changing the law

Despite Labour being in opposition, Labour MPs have still managed to influence the law by putting pressure on the Government. Since Emma was elected she has helped secure stronger environmental guarantees to prevent unsafe fracking from going ahead, win a fairer deal for local pubs, make it easier for the police to prosecute sex offenders who groom children and force the Government to delay changes that would have limited disabled students’ access to higher education.

Opposition pressure also forced the Government to introduce regulation of payday lenders, bring forward new laws to ban smoking in cars with children, and stop the nationwide rollout of the Government’s ineffective and inhumane badger cull.


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