Theresa May has refused to scrap her government’s controversial Work Capability Assessments, despite reports almost one in two women taking part in the assessments say they have attempted suicide before or after the process.
Ian Blackford MP congratulated the Prime Minister on her appointment of a Minister for Suicide Prevention, but said if the Prime Minister was serious about the issue, she would eradicate polices that lead people to believe suicide is their only option.
A series of secret internal inquiries into the deaths of people claiming social security revealed that UK government ministers were repeatedly warned of shortcomings of their social security policies.
SNP Westminster Leader Ian Blackford MP said: “I welcome the appointment of a Minister for Suicide Prevention – in Scotland we have our own Minister for Mental Health and I look forward to working closely with the new UK Minister on this extremely important issue.
“The UK Government however cannot ignore reports that show nearly one in every two women taking part in the UK government’s Work Capability Assessment say they have attempted suicide after or during the process.
“And a series of secret internal inquiries revealed that Tory ministers were repeatedly warned of the policy’s shortcomings.
“If the Prime Minister is serious about suicide prevention, she will look at the impact of her government’s own welfare policies and at long last scrap the appalling Work Capability Assessment.”
Nearly one in every two women (47%) claiming incapacity benefits and undergoing the WCA have attempted suicide. That is more than double since the last recorded NHS data in 2007 (21%) and 40% higher than the general population.