Moray SNP News
INDEPENDENT RESEARCH SAYS “HARD EVIDENCE” OF LINK BETWEEN WORK ASSESSMENTS AND MENTAL ILL-HEALTH
Moray’s SNP MP Angus Robertson said the Tories “can no longer hide” from the link between Work Capability Assessments and mental ill-health as more and more evidence comes to light.
It follows comments made this week by the family of Angela Smith, who took her own life in September, about their anger at the Tory government and their belief that Angela’s fears of being reassessed led to her death. Angela’s father, Donald Smith, said she was “a victim of this government’s repressive measures against disabled people”.
Moray’s MP Mr Robertson has raised the issue at Prime Minister’s Questions in his role as the SNP’s Westminster Leader.
The findings of the investigation are the latest in a series of revelations about the devastating impact of the Work Capability Assessment.
Local MP Mr Robertson said:
“Sadly, we have heard of many cases similar to that of Angela and of concerns being raised by doctors and those working for front line organisations but these just seem to fall on the deaf ears of the Tories.
“I have personally met people at surgeries here in Moray who are clearly ill but who are judged ‘Fit to Work’ under the DWP assessments. In these circumstances where people have a significant physical or mental illness or disability it is extremely distressing to have vital financial support threatened and removed.
“This week a study from Oxford and Liverpool Universities linked 590 suicides to Work Capability Assessments which proves just how devastating these interviews and the threat of vital benefits being sanctioned are for individuals.
“The Tories can no longer hide behind excuses and pretend that there is no evidence of a link between these cruel and degrading tests and mental ill-health, increased use of anti-depressants and suicide.
“Twice I have asked the Prime Minister why reports into the suicide of Michael O’Sullivan and others have not been published by the DWP and twice there have been no answers.
“A new investigation also revealed that Work and Pensions Secretary Ian Duncan Smith failed to pass on a coroner’s legal letter about the death of Stephen Carré, who was subjected to a work capability assessment and took his own life in 2010.
“The Tories cannot ignore the damage that their policies are doing any longer - an urgent review of the Work Capability Assessment is needed so that lessons can be learnt from the mistakes already made and to ensure that there are no more tragic deaths and no more needless distress and suffering for people as a result of these tests.”