People attempting suicide because of cost-of-living crisis, warns MP

·2-min read
Woman with coins in hand with black leather purse
MP Paul Blomfield has said some people in his constituency have attempted suicide amid the rising cost of living. (Getty)

A Labour MP has said people in his constituency have attempted suicide amid the cost-of-living crisis.

Paul Blomfield, MP for Sheffield Central, told the Commons he had spent Monday morning at a local meeting where he was told people had tried to take their own lives.

Many in the UK are struggling financially with rising energy and food bills plus soaring prices at the petrol pumps helping drive a 40-year high of 9% inflation.

Watch: Minister 'somewhat surprised' at Bank of England's 'apocalyptic' food price warning

Blomfield, who was debating education, welfare, health and public services, said he met with several groups, including food banks, debt advisers, housing providers and local councillors to discuss the crisis.

He said on Tuesday: “And we talked about the very real struggle that people are facing to feed families and pay bills. The impact it was having on mental health.

“The people who had previously just been managing, but couldn’t see the way in which that was going to continue.

“We talked about suicide attempts as a consequence and which... they’d been faced (with) in the constituency.

“We talked about the exploitation of people’s hardship by loan sharks as a re-emerging problem.”

Read more: Record numbers of voters think Tories are handling the economy badly

Paul Blomfield speaks during Prime Minister's Questions in the House of Commons, London.
Labour's Paul Blomfield told the Commons the crisis was impacting mental health. (Getty)

Later in the debate, Conservative MP Miriam Cates described the stories as heartbreaking, adding there should be an urgent review of universal credit rates.

Chancellor Rishi Sunak told MPs he would act to cut costs for people but did not say when this would happen.

He said history showed an “unconstrained fiscal stimulus” at such a time risks “making the problem worse”.

Sunak added: “Make no mistake, simply trying to borrow and spend our way out of this situation is the wrong approach and those paying the highest price would be the poorest in our society.

“Instead, on this side of the House we’re taking a careful, deliberate approach. We will act to cut costs for those people without making the situation worse, we will continue to back people who work hard – as we always have – and we will do more to support the most vulnerable.”

Sunak faced shouts of “when?” from the opposition benches.

Read more: UK braces for interest rate rises after 'apocalyptic' warning from BoE's Bailey

Meanwhile, new polling showed record numbers of voters believe the Conservative government is handling the economy badly.

According to YouGov, more than seven in 10 Britons (72%) now think the government is not doing a good job handling the economy, compared to just 19% who think the government is doing well.


For confidential emotional support at times of distress, contact The Samaritans at any time by calling 116 123 or emailing jo@samaritans.org