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Swinson: Depression costing economy 8.6bn a year

June 15, 2009 5:30 PM
Originally published by UK Liberal Democrats

Depression is costing the economy 8.6bn a year, up two thirds in a decade, research by the Liberal Democrats has revealed.

The figures, calculated by the House of Commons Library show that the cost of depression in lost earnings have risen by £3bn since 1999.

Commenting, Liberal Democrat MP Jo Swinson, who chairs the All Party Parliamentary Group on Wellbeing, said: "This is shocking evidence of the dramatic scale of the cost of depression in this country."

"Unemployment is already growing. In this financial crisis we can no longer afford to ignore the preventable causes of depression that are all around us. High levels of unsecured personal debt, job insecurity and workplace stress all damage our wellbeing."

"Unemployment itself also contributes to depression. Depressed people often find it difficult to work and people out of work often get depressed."

"More Government focus on mental health and wellbeing makes economic sense. Measures to tackle workplace stress, encourage responsible lending and keep people in work would benefit us all. Ministers can no longer allow mental health care to be a Cinderella service."

The table below show the estimate of lost earnings due to depression, it was calculated by the Research Service of the House of Commons Library by multiplying average earnings by the number of people who are out of work and claim benefits (Incapacity Benefit and Severe Disability Allowance) due to depression. Year Lost earnings due to depression: real terms cost at 2008 prices 1999 £5,208 M 2000 £5,912 M 2001 £6,579 M 2002 £7,072 M 2003 £5,754 M 2004 £6,461 M 2005 £7,051 M 2006 £7,535 M 2007 £7,704 M 2008 £8,596 M Source: Research Service of the House of Commons Library Clegg: Response to Iraq inquiry announcement"> Mon, 15 Jun 2009 17:30:00 +0100"> Oakeshott: George Osborne dodged 55,000 tax bill by 'flipping'"> Mon, 15 Jun 2009 11:30:00 +0100">