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This group of people have killed more than ISIS did in Paris

129 people died in Friday's terrorist attack in Paris and ISIS have claimed it was them so who has killed more people than ISIS did in the attacks? 

A cruel false economy?

UK Tory government efforts to reduce the number of people claiming disability benefit appear to have driven 590 people in England to suicide and to have put 725,000 more on antidepressants.
Researchers suggest the adverse effects of this policy might outweigh any benefits, and could result in disabled people becoming more dependent on state aid, not less.
Since 2010, more than a million people have had their eligibility for disability allowance reviewed. There have been claims that this process has been too severe, putting pressure on people who really are unfit to work and, sometimes, pushing them to suicide.

But it has been hard to evaluate these claims. The UK Department of Work and Pensions has declined to release health data on those that lost their benefits. So Ben Barr at the University of Liverpool and his colleagues have instead looked at whether mental health indicators changed in local areas after the people living there underwent reassessment.
The team found that as each of 149 local authorities in England was reassessed between 2010 and 2013, the local suicide rate and the number of antidepressant subscriptions increased. The number of people reporting mental health problems for the first time also rose to around 275,000. However, these three measures only rose among people of working age, pointing the finger towards the government programme to get more people into work.
The analysis included extensive controls for other possible factors, and a further statistical analysis showed that mental health problems rose only after an area had been reassessed. These effects were more pronounced in low-income areas, exacerbating the poorer health of people in these areas.
Austerity effects

Of those people reassessed, about a fifth had their benefits revoked, says Barr. But just the uncertainty of the process may have been too stressful for some. “Even if at the end of that they remained eligible, the months of uncertainty had a negative impact.”

It is not clear, in the absence of government statistics, whether the plan has managed to get more people into work. The same team found in 2010 that under similar policies in other countries, people who lost disability benefit tended to end up claiming unemployment benefit instead. Barr says a forthcoming study by his team has found that the reassessment policy has moved fewer people into work than the government hoped.

The results appear to be consistent with concerns about the impact of austerity measures, in general, and the complex pathways influencing suicide and mental health during recessions, says David Gunnell of the University of Bristol. Between 2008 and 2010, he identified 1000 extra suicide deaths in the UK, plus up to 40,000 additional suicide attempts, that were linked to the economic recession.

But there are remedies. Gunnell says some research shows that in countries that spend more helping the unemployed, especially young people, find jobs or train for work, the rate of suicide associated with unemployment is less.

Journal reference: Journal of Epidemiology & Community Health, DOI: 10.1136/jech-2015-206209

So who should we be more afraid of? Tories or ISIS?

Please comment below.

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