Quit smoking and stop living off takeaways to cope with cost of living crisis, Tory MP says

Tory MP Sir Robert Goodwill suggested smoking and ordering takeaways is why some Brits are struggling with the cost-of-living crisis. (UK Parliament)

A Tory MP has said struggling families can help themselves with the cost-of-living crisis by giving up smoking and takeaways.

Sir Robert Goodwill, chair of the environment, food and rural affairs select committee, told Times Radio on Wednesday the government understands "absolutely" the challenges facing the public.

"A lot of people in the more depressed parts of my constituency sadly smoke," he said.

Read more: ‘Humanitarian crisis’ in UK if action not taken on energy bills, say NHS bosses

"[People are] £12 out of pocket [per pack] - people find it difficult to stop smoking.

"So [there are] other ways we can help people - through smoking cessation, helping people budget."

He also suggested Brits are too reliant on takeaways, and should cut back on them to save money.

UK inflation is at its highest level for decades. (ONS CPI)

"[We should be] giving people the skills to make simple nutritious meals," Goodwill said.

He added: "If you're going to live on takeaways... [that is] a very expensive way of feeding your family when there's basic ingredients to buy."

He also said some of the measures announced by the government over recent months will help struggling households - including increasing the National Insurance contributions threshold and increasing the minimum wage.

Read more: ‘Humanitarian crisis’ in UK if action not taken on energy bills, say NHS bosses

His remarks come after a new study warned an estimated 45 million Britons will be trapped in fuel poverty by January without an urgent intervention by the government to help with soaring energy costs.

Experts forecast the energy price cap will reach close to £3,640 in October - and energy consultancy Auxilione has said the price cap may rise to £4,722 in January before hitting £5,601 in April.

Pressure is growing on Tory leadership hopefuls foreign secretary Liz Truss and former chancellor Rishi Sunak to announce a package of measures to tackle soaring living costs when one of them becomes leader on 5 September.

Inflation will hit poorer households harder than richer ones. (IFS)

Truss has championed tax cuts as a way to tackle the crisis - with Sunak warning that would make inflation worse, and instead pledging targeted financial support to those on the lowest incomes.

Labour has said parliament should be recalled in response to the crisis after inflation hit a 40-year high of 9.9% this week.

"Across Britain, people are having to make unthinkable choices about how to pay their bills, causing endless worry for households and businesses," said Labour's shadow leader of the House of Commons, Thangam Debbonaire.

"Families deserve a government that is on their side, and is ready to take the action needed now to meet the scale of this national emergency."

Watch: Cost of living crisis: Why have food prices gone up so much in a month?