New Tory attack on disabled poor

Issue: 2315 dated: 11 August 2012 News posted: 6.14pm Tue 7 Aug 2012

comment on article | email | print  

By Dave Sewell

Hundreds of thousands more disabled people will face humiliating assessments that could see their benefits snatched away.

Atos Healthcare already runs work capability assessments on behalf of the government. It won new contracts worth £400 million last week to “assess” people who currently claim Disability Living Allowance (DLA).

The news came just days after the firm was exposed as setting targets to get people off benefits.

Doctors working for Atos question and test people who receive various disability benefits to see if they are “fit for work”. But they are told they can only rate one in eight people as unfit for work.

Incredibly the other firm in line to win around £200 million worth of contracts is the disgraced G4S.

The Tories plan to replace DLA with a new Personal Independence Payment (PIP) next year. They hope to use the new tests to cut spending on the benefit by 20 percent over the next three years. The plan is to drive people onto lower levels of benefit—or off them altogether.

Last year 32 people (a week ~ Ed.) died while challenging Atos rulings that they were fit for work. Yet the government’s own figures showed last year that 40 percent of appeals against Atos decisions to remove disability benefits were successful. The figure rose to 70 percent in Scotland.

Peter Reynolds from Cambridgeshire is just one of those who has won an appeal against Atos.

Peter has problems with his lungs and his lymphatic system has stopped working after he fell off a fork lift truck.

He uses a wheelchair and needs constant care. After his accident Peter received sickness benefit—but was then assessed as “fit for work” by Atos.

He successfully appealed against the decision. Peter said, “I would sooner be in the workplace doing a decent day’s work than being in the mess I am in.”

Perhaps that’s why employment minister Chris Grayling tried to censor a video that gave advice on how to mount a successful appeal. Grayling complained about the video’s “tone” and “negative comments”. But he doesn’t deny that those sections in dispute are true.

Workers at Atos in the PCS union were set to strike on Monday of next week over pay. They plan a further strike on 28 August. 


Media spout lies over ‘benefit scroungers’

The Daily Mail raged against “benefit scroungers” last week. It used figures from August 2011 for claimants of Incapacity Benefit and Severe Disablement Allowance to argue that claimants weren’t really ill.

The paper belittled people with “acne” and “coughs”. It failed to mention that by far the highest diagnosis listed in the figures is “depressive episodes”. This accounted for nearly 20 percent of all claimants.

The Mail claims it’s easy for people to claim benefits. The reality is the opposite. An investigation last year used government statistics to show that “at least” 500,000 people were wrongly denied Incapacity Benefit over the previous 15 years. 


Game over for Atos

The Disabled People Against Cuts (DPAC) campaign has called five days of action against Atos starting on Monday 28 August. It plans to target Atos during the Paralympics. Atos is the main sponsor of the Games.

On the Monday, activists plan to deliver a coffin of messages to Atos to its headquarters. Protests will target local Atos offices on Tuesday while a spoof Paralympic ceremony will hand out medals on Wednesday.

A “disruptive” action is planned for Friday. DPAC is appealing for anti-cuts activists, trade unionists and others to join the events. For more details go to the DPAC website.

Comments
  • jeffery davies August 9, 2012 at 4:46 pm

    aye which way to the scrap yard as for getting pips youl have to be not breathing to pass and then its debatable jeff3

  • steve davies August 9, 2012 at 5:24 pm

    I sincerely believe its game, set and match for the disabled . Any action is to little and to late….there is no support from any other political parties or from Joe public.

    • miki67 August 10, 2012 at 4:11 am

      I am Joe Public….well.one of them anyway…..and I support you with all my heart and soul.
      Do not despair. Many people recognise that,at the very least,we have a nasty,cruel and uncaring so-called ‘government’ in The ConDems. At worst,they are outright fascists.
      Their days are numbered. Believe it. This hideous coalition is on the verge of crumbling under the weight of its own corruption.

  • owen meharry August 10, 2012 at 11:15 am

    So ATOS staff are to go on strike, i think this is one strike that should get NO support from joe public in fact we should be demanding the GP’s and medical professionals refuse to work for ATOS, if as they say “they are concerned” over the way in which the disabled are being treated

  • Humanity2012 August 10, 2012 at 11:32 am

    It is Theft from the Poor and Disabled and it makes Myself Angry and Sick how
    People get taken in like Braindead Sheep by the Propaganda of the Regime and the
    Tabloids

    The Scroungers are the Expenses as Well as £65.000 per Year Politicians in the
    House of Cretins

    How Long before the Regime is Out of Office 2 Years has been too Long let alone
    12 Years of the Condemazis

    Wake Up Complacent and Sleepwalking Britain

  • kasbah August 10, 2012 at 12:11 pm

    miki67
    I am Joe Public….well.one of them anyway…..and I support you with all my heart and soul.
    Do not despair. Many people recognise that,at the very least,we have a nasty,cruel and uncaring so-called ‘government’ in The ConDems. At worst,they are outright fascists.
    Their days are numbered. Believe it. This hideous coalition is on the verge of crumbling under the weight of its own corruption.

    Thank you Miki67-reading this and knowing that you are a non-disabled person supporting us has given me hope. Please please can you spread the word amongst your friends about the horrific situation we are in? We need all the support we can get….
    Take care, Kasbah

  • Humanity2012 August 11, 2012 at 10:45 am

    The Disabled/Sick/Vulnerable Need to Speak Up and also for Someone to Speak
    Up for Them

    We Need Government Policy Changed for the BETTER and we Need this NOW

  • You must be logged in to comment. Log in
%d bloggers like this: