A 92-YEAR-OLD man frightened by the rising cost of modern life was "killed by the Budget", his daughter claimed this week.

George Mechan was discovered dead at his home in Mark on March 13 this year, surrounded by newspaper articles on the previous day's Budget.

An inquest in Bridgwater last week heard that Mr Mechan, a retired TV engineer, had electrocuted himself and left a note saying: "I feel it's time to depart. I've had a good life."

Mr Mechan's daughter Sheila Bellingham, of Rooksbridge, told the inquest her father had a state pension and a small private pension, which were not enough to match the rising cost of things like petrol and heating bills.

She and a friend of Mr Mechan, Mary Moore, described how he had frequently complained about rising costs. But Mrs Bellingham said it was the Budget which made her father snap.

She said: "I don't think it was a coincidence that the Budget was the day before.

"Petrol and drink had both gone up in the Budget and my father liked his cars and a bottle of whiskey.

"He had not premeditated this. His fridge and freezer were full of food.

"I just think something snapped and he thought he would go out all guns blazing."

Recording a verdict that Mr Mechan took his own life while the balance of his mind was disturbed, the West Somerset Coroner Michael Rose said: "There is no doubt in Mrs Bellingham's mind that the Budget killed her father.

"It would not be right for me to make a comment on the Budget.

"But with a small income and a small pension there was no doubt that he was greatly affected by the rise in prices.

"It was not so much the final straw but one of the major causes of his death."

After the inquest, George Mechan's daughter Sheila Bellingham told the Weekly News she believed pensioners throughout Britain must share the same money worries which she felt led to his death.

She said: "I do feel there must be an awful lot of other people who are worried about money.

"My father was on a fixed pension. The cost of everything was going up but the money he was getting was not.

"He worked all his life and fought in the war.

"Why should your standard of living go down and things get harder at that stage of your life?"

The Weekly News approached the Treasury and the Department for Work and Pensions but neither were available for comment.