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Tories Failing on Mental Health

March 17, 2021 8:00 AM
Originally published by Liberal Democrats in Wiltshire

MH Graphic

1 in 4 people will experience a mental health problem in their lifetime. Still, the government have yet to treat mental health on the same plane as they do physical health.

In a normal year, 300,000 people will leave their jobs in response to a mental health issue costing employers up to £42 billion annually. The impact of the pandemic will only increase this number as it has done for children.

35% more children have passed the threshold into a clinical diagnosis according to an Oxford University study.

Despite these ever-increasing risks, the government have pledged just £2.3 billion extra to improve mental health facilities throughout the NHS, the figure misses the required funding of the 5-year plan conceived by the NHS before the pandemic by £300 million.

Further to this, the Chancellor has only agreed to a temporary extension in the £20 increase of Universal Credit payments. This risks damaging the mental health of vulnerable families whose budgets can't afford to be slashed.

This is echoed by the British Psychological Association - "We're disappointed that the chancellor has today decided not to give families the certainty & security they need & has instead decided on a short-term fix with this six-month extension."

The £20 increase however does not apply to the legacy benefits that over 1.9 million disabled people currently receive, ensuring that it is the disabled, those who have extra risk of mental health problems, that have been abandoned by the Government.

The Co-chair of the Disability Benefits Consortium stated: "Government excuses so far have been at best feeble, and at worst actively insulting to those being pushed further into poverty. They must give people on legacy benefits the £20-per-week uplift and end this discrimination against disabled people immediately."

Although the Chancellor has used flashy marketing to sugarcoat the inadequacies of his government, the Conservatives are failing on mental health. This failure not only risks a sustainable economic future or the prosperity of our children but risks cutting short lives that otherwise could be saved.