Shocked staff at a Fife centre looked on in horror as a man said to be desperate for help over the ‘bedroom tax’ pulled out a knife and tried to cut himself.
According to one person, who asked not to be named, the apparent suicide bid ended in “blood everywhere — all over the walls and counters”.
The appalling incident happened shortly after 9am on Thursday and forced the closure of part of the Lochgelly Centre.
Rumours quickly emerged that the man had gone to the local services office housed in the newly revamped centre, seeking advice over his bedroom tax worries.
“He had been trying to get support for it but then he pulled out a knife and cut at his wrists,” a source said.
A police spokesman later said: “A man was taken to hospital with superficial injuries following an incident with a knife around 9am at the Lochgelly Centre this morning.
“He was later discharged. Nobody has been charged in connection with this incident.”
Fife Council depute leader David Ross urged the Government to scrap the bedroom tax before it resulted in more acts of desperation.
He said: “This was a very distressing incident. Our thoughts are with the person involved and we will be providing all the support we can in the days ahead.
“It would be wrong to comment on any individual’s personal circumstances — we respect their right to confidentiality.
“What we can say is that we are seeing an increasing number of people facing serious financial worries, many of which are caused by welfare reform.
“We’re doing all we can to support them.
“I believe many of these reforms are fundamentally wrong, especially the bedroom tax hitting many of the poorest and most vulnerable Fifers,” Mr Ross added.
“I firmly believe that the Government should scrap these so-called reforms and the insidious bedroom tax now before more people are driven to such desperate acts as happened today in Lochgelly.”