Join the Socialist Party Join us today!

Printable version Printable version

Facebook   Twitter

Link to this page: https://secure.socialistparty.org.uk/issue/724/14777

From The Socialist newspaper, 27 June 2012

Poverty and job worries hit mental health

A leaked memo from senior Jobcentre executives to staff warns of an increased risk of benefit claimants attempting suicide as a result of changes to sickness benefit.

The Con-Dems' vicious cuts to welfare include effectively forcing thousands of people who are eligible for disability benefits into the job market. Private companies such as Atos Origin are being paid millions to make assessments that will deny people much-needed financial support and services.

And, of course, these people are being forced to compete for jobs which don't exist in numbers to match demand. In 39 local authorities there are ten or more claimants for every Jobcentre vacancy available. But, as the Socialist has previously pointed out, not all these 'vacancies represent real jobs - many are duplicates, agencies, commission only or catalogue and leaflet distribution.

The memo emphasises the need for Jobcentre workers to have "utmost care and sensitivity" when dealing with "customers".

Oppose the cuts

Indeed, there is increasing evidence of mental health problems resulting from poverty. The mental health charity Mind reports that its infoline has seen a 100% increase in calls about personal finance and employment since the start of the recession. Since Work Capability Assessments were brought in there has also been a 100% increase in calls about benefits.

The Lancet Medical Journal published a study last year showing that the steady downward trend in suicide rates across the EU immediately reversed in 2007 when the recession hit. Also, the increase was greatest where the financial crisis has been worse - 17% in Greece and 13% in Ireland.

Katrine Williams, Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) group vice president in the PCS civil servants' union, responds.

"PCS members in DWP want to deliver good quality services to the public. This is even more critical in difficult economic times when many more people need support.

PCS members are increasingly raising concerns about the impact of the welfare reforms on the public as they are dealing first hand with the consequences. Our members want to be trusted to deliver services and have enough time to give support and respect to people.

So PCS was surprised to find that our posters, including one (opposite) highlighting that the number of calls where our members are dealing with the issue of suicide have increased, were banned by management. We will continue to campaign for more staff and time to deal with the public properly.

Also, importantly, PCS has a good record of campaigning against the welfare reforms of this government and the previous New Labour one. PCS will work with anti-cuts campaigners, claimant organisations and other trade unions to oppose the cuts which are decimating the welfare state and pushing people to the limit."

Donate to the Socialist Party

Coronavirus crisis - Finance appeal

The coronavirus crisis has laid bare the class character of society in numerous ways. It is making clear to many that it is the working class that keeps society running, not the CEOs of major corporations.

The results of austerity have been graphically demonstrated as public services strain to cope with the crisis.

The government has now ripped up its 'austerity' mantra and turned to policies that not long ago were denounced as socialist. But after the corona crisis, it will try to make the working class pay for it, by trying to claw back what has been given.

  • The Socialist Party's material is more vital than ever, so we can continue to report from workers who are fighting for better health and safety measures, against layoffs, for adequate staffing levels, etc.
  • Our 'fighting coronavirus workers' charter', outlines a programme to combat the virus and protect workers' living conditions.
  • When the health crisis subsides, we must be ready for the stormy events ahead and the need to arm workers' movements with a socialist programme - one which puts the health and needs of humanity before the profits of a few.
Inevitably, during the crisis we have not been able to sell the Socialist and raise funds in the ways we normally would.
We therefore urgently appeal to all our viewers to donate to our special coronavirus appeal.

Please donate here.

All payments are made through a secure server.

My donation

 

Your message: 

 


In The Socialist 27 June 2012:


Socialist Party news and analysis

Hypocrites! Tories bash benefits, rich let off the hook

Breadline Britain - living in poverty

Poverty and job worries hit mental health

Teachers report children going hungry

Government of rich ups war on welfare state

Miliband speech: no answer to the race to the bottom

Protest for affordable housing - join the Austerity Games

Life in a 'forgotten' area

Cuts ignore immense needs

Them & Us


Socialist Party NHS campaign

EMERGENCY: Stop NHS cuts!

Stop the NHS massacre


Socialist Party workplace news

London bus workers show their strength

Police wade in at Coryton protest

HMRC members show their opposition to another round of job cuts and privatisation

RMT conference prepares for battle

Sheffield recycling workers: Support their indefinite strike action

Unison conference Delegates call for effective battle on pay

Unison backs Tamil Solidarity

Unite conference 'The renaissance of trade unionism'

Block on Progress - "intolerable think tank"?

Wales Shop Stewards Network


Trade Unionist and Socialist Coalition

Trade Unionist and Socialist Coalition: Building the fight against all cuts


International socialist news and analysis

Spain: New epicentre of crisis in Europe

Kazakh embassy protest to free Bolat Atabayev


 

Home   |   The Socialist 27 June 2012   |   Join the Socialist Party

Subscribe   |   Donate   |   PDF  




Related links:

Mental health:

triangleCardiff West Socialist Party: Capitalism and mental health

triangleCardiff East Socialist Party: Capitalism is bad for mental health

triangleGoing Viral: Socialist comments and letters on the corona crisis

triangleThe Socialist Inbox

triangleTV: Young, British and Depressed - "What is wrong with our society that all these people are feeling this way?"

Poverty:

triangleDoncaster: Vigil for murdered women

trianglePoverty rises again - especially for BAME workers

triangleA timely read about a pandemic that overwhelms society

triangleOver 30% of children living in poverty

PCS:

trianglePCS union: Reject longer DWP opening hours

trianglePCS executive majority cancels union democracy

triangleJobcentre reopening: only union struggle will put safety first

Welfare:

triangleEven social-care bosses say cuts have gone too far

triangleEnd Tory cold cruelty: life under austerity in Merthyr

Cuts:

triangleUnite union branch pledges to support socialist candidates who oppose cuts

Claimants:

triangleBenefits system being used to force return to unsafe workplaces

Benefits:

triangleTories' obesity plans - blaming individuals not the profit system

News and socialist analysis

News and socialist analysis

5/8/20

Coronavirus

Tories' obesity plans - blaming individuals not the profit system

5/8/20

Coronavirus

Capitalism's 'vaccine war' shows need for socialist cooperation

5/8/20

Labour Party

Labour payouts: unions must discuss political representation

5/8/20

Coronavirus

NHS pay: 15% for all now

5/8/20

Coronavirus

From first wave to second? Capitalism's Covid failures

5/8/20

Universities

What would socialist universities look like?

22/7/20

China

Huawei: what's behind Johnson's u-turn?

22/7/20

Coronavirus

Fight for our livelihoods... Fight for our lives!

22/7/20

Music

Saving the music industry from pandemic and austerity

22/7/20

Luton

Luton Council sunk by airport investment: fight for funding, not speculation!

22/7/20

The Socialist

Getting the Socialist over the summer

22/7/20

Coronavirus

Fight for the NHS

22/7/20

NHS

Tories using pandemic to privatise NHS more

22/7/20

Them & Us

Them & Us

22/7/20

Steel

Nationalise Tata Steel to save jobs

triangleMore News and socialist analysis articles...


Join the Socialist Party
Subscribe to Socialist Party publications
Donate to the Socialist Party
Socialist Party Facebook page
Socialist Party on Twitter
Visit us on Youtube

LATEST POSTS

CONTACT US

Phone our national office on 020 8988 8777

Email: info@socialistparty.org.uk

Locate your nearest Socialist Party branch Text your name and postcode to 07761 818 206

Regional Socialist Party organisers:

Eastern: 079 8202 1969

East Mids: 077 3797 8057

London: 075 4018 9052

North East: 078 4114 4890

North West 079 5437 6096

South West: 077 5979 6478

Southern: 078 3368 1910

Wales: 079 3539 1947

West Mids: 024 7655 5620

Yorkshire: 077 0671 0041

ABOUT US

ARCHIVE

Alphabetical listing


August 2020

July 2020

June 2020

May 2020

April 2020

March 2020

February 2020

January 2020

2019

2018

2017

2016

2015

2014

2013

2012

2011

2010

2009

2008

2007

2006

2005

2004

2003

2002

2001

2000

1999