MP Helen Morgan revealed she has been contacted by an increasing number of “desperate” constituents as she urged the Government to do more to tackle the cost-of-living crisis in rural areas.
The Liberal Democrat MP highlighted how places like her constituency of North Shropshire are being hit hardest by the crisis due to the higher costs of food, fuel and transport and lower wages in rural areas.
Speaking in the House of Commons, Helen called on the Government to acknowledge the scale of the problem in rural areas and work across departments to address the factors that make life particularly tough for people living away from larger towns and cities.
She cited the example of one constituent she has been helping, who is having to wear coats and hats inside to stay warm due to the unaffordable cost of heating and recently told Helen “I wish I was dead, I am so depressed.”
The constituent is one of hundreds of North Shropshire residents who have contacted the MP’s office to ask for help during the winter months.
Helen used the first day of the 2023 Parliamentary session to raise their plight with the Secretary of State for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities.
Helen Morgan MP told the Commons: “It’s well documented that the cost-of-living crisis is affecting rural parts of Britain to a much greater extent because of the higher costs of petrol, higher costs of food and transport, housing and lower average wages.
“I’m seeing an increase in emails of increasingly desperate constituents including one this week who contacted me to say that she was wearing coats and hats in her house despite having worked all her life. Her email concluded, ‘I wish I was dead, I am so depressed’.
“I’d like to ask the Minister if she’ll acknowledge the extent of the problem affecting rural parts of Britain and consider working with her colleagues across government to address the factors that are making the cost-of-living crisis so much worse for people in rural Britain?”
Responding, Parliamentary Under Secretary of State Dehenna Davison said:
“I’m grateful to my honourable friend for raising the case of her constituent and sadly I think all of us have seen examples like this, but particularly acute in rural communities which my own constituency is one of too.
“There’s a lot of work going on across Government to try and mitigate the cost-of-living pressures including cost-of-living payments, additional help with energy bills but certainly I’m willing to work with anyone across the House who can help us with that mission.”
Secretary of State Michael Gove was absent from the Commons due to family reasons.