Commons attempt to get MPs to debate ATOS and “the deaths of 1,100 Employment and Support Act claimants”

by Tony Britton on July 2, 2012

A Labour MP has launched an attempt to get the House of Commons to debate the £100m-a-year contract awarded to Atos to carry out work capability assessments of people applying for Employment and Support Allowance – which he claims has led to the deaths of 1,100 claimants put in the category for compulsory work-related activity.

In an Early Day Motion tabled last Thursday, John McDonnell (Labour MP for Hayes and Harlington) also praised the British Medical Association whose Annual Representative Conference last week called for the work capability assessment to be scrapped immediately and to be replaced with a system that does not harm the most vulnerable people in society.

His motion also includes condemnation of the decision to allow Atos to sponsor the Paralympics which follow the London Olympic Games and, for good measure, Dow Chemical’s sponsorship of the Games themselves.

Dow took over the Union Carbide company whose plant at Bhopal, India, leaked methyl isocyanate gas in 1984 – leading to the deaths and injury of thousands of people in the vicinity. The event was one of the world’s worst industrial disasters.

On July 3, the Early Day Motion – EDM 295 – started to gather support from non-Coalition party MPs.

ME Association

Early Day Motion 295

Session 2012-13
Date tabled: 28.06.2012
Primary sponsor: McDonnell, John

That this House deplores that thousands of sick and disabled constituents are experiencing immense hardship after being deprived of benefits following a work capability assessment carried out by Atos Healthcare under a 100 million a year contract; notes that 40 per cent of appeals are successful but people wait up to six months for them to be heard; deplores that last year 1,100 claimants died while under compulsory work-related activity for benefit and that a number of those found fit for work and left without income have committed or attempted suicide; condemns the International Paralympic Committee’s promotion of Atos as its top sponsor and the sponsorship of the Olympics by Dow Chemical and other corporations responsible for causing death and disability; welcomes the actions taken by disabled people, carers, bereaved relatives and organisations to end this brutality and uphold entitlement to benefits; and applauds the British Medical Association call for the work capability assessment to end immediately and to be replaced with a system that does not cause harm to some of the most vulnerable people in society.





7 thoughts on “Commons attempt to get MPs to debate ATOS and “the deaths of 1,100 Employment and Support Act claimants”

  1. Darren says:

    Talk about adding insult to injury! I’ll just bet CaMoron & his cronies, and the poxy Frog chairman of AToS had a good belly laugh over the sponsorship thing. I sense a very noisy, public protest brewing…

    These ConDem wankers have no moral values at all do they? I told Maria Miller, The Cripple-Killer the other day in an email that she has forfeited her human rights, along with Grayling, Tincan Smith, and CaMoron.

    If they have no human rights, that must mean they’re no more than animals and it’s just about HUNTIN’ SEASON! Wonder how fast the average MP can run? They’re not as fast as foxes, but should still provide a wee bit of an outing for the hounds.

    1. CovertSystems says:

      I can vouch for that, made Chernobyl look like a cheap fire cracker.

      When the Department for War on People see what they are doing is not just upsetting people but is very unethical and flouts our basic human rights, do you think that we will see people like Miller the cripple killer change or is the old saying that “a leopard and its spots” is waiting in the wings to be uttered…

      I thought that the comment about IDS being a slugs asshole was unfair to slugs. They do an important job in the eco system unlike IDS who is nothing more than a parasite.

      Anyway, come the revolution, count me in unless my backs playing up.

  2. Sue says:

    ATOS found me fit to work
    10 months later I won my appeal
    2 months after that my ESA is cut to £53 pw (no longer entitled to contribution based ESA)
    1 month after that I have been recalled for another ATOS Assessment – they will find me fit for work again.
    They have worn me down, I have no fight left in me, I cannot face another appeal. I am waiting for an operation, but due to cut backs the waiting list is so long they cannot even give me an approximate date.
    Do they want us to commit suicide so that we are no longer a burden to the state?

  3. Anette says:

    One thing that the disabled people should be able to do is to sue ATOS for falsifying and omitting medical facts in the ‘assessment records’. In the leaflet sent out with the ESA50 form it states ‘you will be seen by a medical profession who is specialising in your kind of disability’, this is a complete lie as you are seen by someone who hasn’t got a clue about disabilities in the first place.

    If you are filling in a form and it turns out to be false you could be prosecuted, so why are ATOS and DWP protected?

    DWP are supposed to have ‘trained’ staff dealing with people put into WRAG, I’ve met one who thought once you had finished the cancer treatment you’re cured! I had to tell her it’s a five year remission and anything could happen, and nearly two years after my treatment I now have damaged nerves thanks to radiotherapy and operations, tiredness and constant infections..

    The last thing I would like to know is, if you’re put into WRAG and doing ‘work placement’ and you’re injured because of your disability who’s is legally responsible?
    Normally it would come under Health and Safety but does that cover ‘WRAGGERS’?

    1. Beebs says:

      How to prosecute Atos where there is no legal recourse? Who will do the legal work, when you are weak, ill, little strength..

  4. Beebs says:

    “Hardships” why don’t they say as it is “DYING” forced to work…this will serve and lead to nothing. There needs to be outrage from the MPs, there is none, or just whimpers..

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