Loneliness Strategy

Part of EU Exit Negotiations – in the House of Commons at 6:13 pm on 15th October 2018.

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Photo of Tracey Crouch Tracey Crouch The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport 6:13 pm, 15th October 2018

I am grateful to Mr Reed for welcoming the strategy. It has involved nine months of extremely hard work from nine different Departments to support the 9 million people who identify themselves as lonely. We know that this issue is enormously important to people. One in five people identify as lonely, and young people between the ages of 16 and 24 now identify themselves as being more lonely than older people. There are many groups in society that, through various life changes, suddenly find themselves suffering from loneliness. Jo herself said that loneliness does not discriminate, and trigger points can happen at any particular time—no one is immune to that sense of overwhelming loneliness.

I hope that the hon. Gentleman has the opportunity to read the whole strategy and to examine its 58 recommendations, including the policy test, which will answer many of his questions. We recognise that difficult decisions were taken during difficult times to try to regain an economic balance, but those decisions may have had an inadvertent impact on loneliness. Going forward, we want to ensure that we recognise loneliness, make policies responsibly—just as we do for other issues in society—and consider all that as part of the policy test.