London faces runaway costs due to rising disease

An increase of almost one million inactive people, especially due to mental health problems, will increase health benefits to 100,000 million euros per year in 2028 in a country with 900,000 vacant jobs.

The rapid increase in mental health problems is already becoming a problem for the UK economy, which is likely to worsen in the coming years. After the pandemic, nearly a million people of working age are inactiveReforms to bring this group into the labor market have not been effective. This, at the same time, puts an end to claims that more jobs will be filled by British people to reduce immigration.

According to the Office for National Statistics (ONS), 9.25 million Britons are inactive, with data covering the quarter ending January 2024. This means 21.8% of the population aged 16 to 64 are inactive, compared with 20.5%. Just before the epidemic. In absolute terms, this number has increased by around 800,000 people since 2019.

What worries the country is that the proportion is not high: in fact, in the 70s, about 24% of the population was inactive. What alerted Rishi Sunak's government was how diseases (especially mental illnesses) were on the rise and draining the labor market. In fact, 2.8 million people were unable to work due to long-term illness, 200,000 more than a year ago.

“This is a brake on the economy, which adds pressure to public finances and the national health system. [NHS] and limits opportunities for many. Reversing this trend must be a priority for this government and the next,” explains Hannah Slaughter, senior economist at the think tank the Resolution Foundation.

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The group that needs to be fully integrated into the labor market is men between the ages of 25 and 35 who have already completed an apprenticeship. According to the ONS, 9.5% are inactive, up from 7% before the pandemic and 5% in the early 90s, although the first figures for this category vary by date.

The reasons for this silent epidemic? Experts point to a combination of factors: the pandemic and similar permits for Erde in Spain (holiday); Scattered work is on the rise, exemplified by zero-hours contracts in the United Kingdom, in which people are paid for the work they do, and the reform of the benefits system introduced by the Tories, which incentivizes some (bad). They live without working.

Organizational reform

In 2013, there was a reformation of the system Universal credit (cost of living, finding a job, raising children or helping the disabled population) with the exact opposite objective: to make working worthwhile and not living on support. One of the innovations is the Personal Independence Payment (PIP) for people with mental health problems or disabilities who have trouble managing their everyday lives.

Depression or anxiety are some of the problems keeping British people out of the labor market. This will turn out to be a high bill for the state. According to the Office for Budget Responsibility (OBR), disability and health benefits will rise from £65.7 billion today to £90.9 billion (€106 billion) in the 2028-29 financial year (a 38% increase).

This item includes children, working-age adults and retirees. The population between the ages of 16 and 64 account for three-quarters of the bill.

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It's gone “too far”.

Mel Straight, the secretary of state for work and pensions, is not clear on the real rise in mental health problems in the UK and is pointing to some flaws in the system. One is treating life's own concerns as diseases, an area where conservative politicians believe they've gone “too far.”

Late Smith, president of the Royal College of Psychiatrists, described the senior official's words as “disappointing”. In a letter Daily TelegraphSaid: “It's not just a fad. People don't pretend to be sick; they really are.”

“The process for a doctor to determine whether a person has a mental illness that prevents them from working is a very easy way. More than 90% of those who request it get it. There are not many obstacles,” director Sophia Woringer. , recently explained. Attached policy Think tank Center for Social Justice.

Unfilled employment

Other experts point to 900,000 unfilled jobs in the country, and this kind of assistance points to the need to intervene to reduce the rising costs to the state and prevent periods of unemployment that do not affect the labor and economic prospects of many. Thousands of people.

The government has taken several measures to reverse this situation. One of them is to cut taxes like Social Security, reduce labor incomes and force 200,000 people into the labor market. Another is to encourage the creation of 150,000 jobs with soft conditions for people considering returning to work.

Claire, 25, who lives in Nottingham, central England, was recently diagnosed with a long-term illness. A few days ago he narrated his case The Times, which illustrates the real problems faced by the government. “If I start working, I can only do it part-time. But the money I'm making is basically what I get now and I'll lose benefits like prescription insurance. Is it really worth it to me?”

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