The Scottish National Party has today highlighted figures released today by the Department for Work and Pensions that show thousands of people have died after being found fit for work.

The DWP figures show that 2,380 people died between December 2011 and February 2014 shortly after a work capability assessment (WCA) found them fit for work.  The data also reveals that during the same period, 50,580 people who received employment and support allowance (ESA) died within two weeks of their claim ending.

This latest figures follow the revelation that almost half of all ESA and JSA sanctions have been overturned when reviewed.

Commenting, the SNP’s Social Justice and Welfare spokesperson Dr Eilidh Whiteford MP said:

“These are deeply disturbing figures which add further weight to the SNP’s argument that we need a social security system that allows people to enjoy happy and healthy lives instead of the stress and worry inflicted by the current Conservative regime.

“With around 50 per cent of ESA and JSA sanctions being overturned there is a clear need for proper decision making in the first place so that hundreds of thousands of people do not have to go through unnecessary misery and anxiety

“These figures make for truly heart-breaking reading and further underline the need for an independent root and branch review of the UK Government’s conditionality and sanctions regime, with an immediate halt to sanctions while it is carried out.

“The UK benefits regime is clearly failing the people it was set up to help and while the Scottish Government is doing all it can to mitigate the effects of this unforgiving system we would be able to do so much more if these crucial welfare powers were in Scotland’s hands.”