The National Audit Office is to demand information from Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) on a ‘serious and important’ issue after ministers refuse to provide figures on how many people claiming social security have taken their own lives. The watchdog is to investigate the government’s monitoring of suicides among welfare claimants amid longstanding concerns about links between welfare reforms and declining mental health.
The National Audit Office (NAO) said it would call on the DWP to reveal what information it held on the suicides, after ministers refused to provide an MP with figures on the number of people in the welfare system who had taken their own lives.
In a letter seen by The Independent, the watchdog said it was “clearly a very important and serious” topic and that it would consider trying to collate the information itself if the government could not provide it.
It comes as charities raise concerns about links between…
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