Government Policy is Promoting Suicides
The following has been supplied by the TUC:
The UK recession has led to a sharp rise in suicides, a new study has found. The researchers warn that the government's austerity programme is not worth the human cost and efforts should instead centre on job creation.
Their paper, published this week on the bmj.com website, says suicides began to rise in 2008 following 20 years of decline. It estimates 846 more male suicides and 155 more female suicides took place between 2008 to 2010 than would have been expected if previous trends had continued.
Each annual 10 per cent increase in the number of unemployed was associated with a 1.4 per cent increase in the number of male suicides. There was a small reduction in suicides in 2010, following a slight recovery in male employment, although numbers were still above the 2007 figure.
The researchers from Liverpool and Cambridge universities and the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine took data on suicides from the National Clinical and Health Outcomes Database (NCHOD) covering the years 2000-2010, and unemployment statistics were taken from Office of National Statistics figures on the number of people claiming benefits.
The researchers say 'although the initial economic shock of the recession does increase suicide risk, policies that promote re-employment may reverse this trend'. They warn 'the human cost of continued high levels of unemployment will outweigh the purported benefits of budget cuts'.