Anti-cuts demo targets Atos HQ

By Paddy McGuffin, Home Affairs Reporter, Morning Star

Disability and anti-cuts groups have vowed to shut down the headquarters of controversial Paralympic sponsors Atos in protest against its involvement in the games.

UK Uncut and Disabled People Against Cuts (DPAC) are set to stage the Closing Atos Ceremony at 12.45pm on Friday August 31 – the second day of the Paralympics.

Atos has been fiercely criticised over its handling of the Department for Work and Pensions £100 million-a-year contract to assess people claiming incapacity benefit.

Campaigners said that 1,100 claimants died last year while under compulsory work-related activity for benefit and a number of those found “fit for work” and stripped of their benefits have committed or attempted suicide.

The British Medical Association, disabled groups and MPs have all demanded the work capability assessments be scrapped immediately.

An early day motion tabled by John McDonnell and signed by 83 MPs, including Jeremy Corbyn and Ian Lavery, deplored the fact 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.”

Earlier this month the High Court granted permission for two disabled people to bring a claim for judicial review against the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, challenging the operation of the assessments.

UK Uncut and DPAC have pledged to engage in direct action, creative protests and promised “plenty of surprises.”

The groups stress they are not opposed to the Paralympics but Atos’s “hypocritical” involvement.

DPAC spokesman Paddy Murphy said: “Atos receives hundreds of millions of pounds while many disabled people are being forced to live in abject poverty because of their decisions.

“By sponsoring the Paralympics, Atos is trying to give the impression of supporting disabled people. Don’t be fooled. This is just another opportunity for it to cash in.”

And UK Uncut activist Kat Templeton said: “Atos are spearheading the government’s attacks on welfare.

“This is about making ordinary people pay for a crisis caused by the bankers. It’s about making disabled people pay, instead of super-rich tax dodgers who cost us over £25 billion every year.”

paddym@peoples-press.com

Morning Star

Comments
  • Margaret Westwood August 15, 2012 at 3:45 pm

    While I empathise with the disabled,sick & vulnerable that have had their benefit’s cut or stopped & been found fit for work….I was medically retired 1992 due to an accident at work & ill health….I claimed DLA from1993…..I have had re assessment’s in the past & had to fight for my DLA….& as now I have medical record’s to proove my health issue’s ,disabilitie’s & condition’s….I’m a 62yr old pensioner…{I was 60yr when ATOS Dr.re assessed me}I had a re assessment from an ATOS Dr.the report he wrote is incorrect,misleading & lie’s…I appealed aganst the ATOS Dr’s report & have complained & got nowhere with my complaint or appeal’s…Though I have medical proof from my G.P’s & Medical proffession’s that I’m disabled & ill on alot of medication

    I have been told & informed in a letter from ATOS that their Dr.would NOT write anything in his report that wasn’t said on the day of his visit to my home for my assessment as it would not be in his interest….Surely all of what has happened to people prooves what I said & stated in my letter to ATOS their Dr.is not telling the truth…

  • Margaret Westwood August 15, 2012 at 3:57 pm

    PS..My Disabilty Living Allowance has been cut drastiscly….From High Rate Mobility & High Rate care to Low Rate care,if you require any information regarding my disabilitie’s & my health issue’s please e-mail me.

    Disabilty Living Allowance Benefit Agency have not contacted my G.P.Neuroligist or Physiotherapist,despite me sending letter’s from the said proffesion’s….They have taken the report from the ATOS Dr. to assess my claim…

    Thank you for your time.

    Margaret Westwood.

  • Humanity2012 August 16, 2012 at 3:45 pm

    The National Socialist Regime Inflicted Misery upon those it Victimised and
    Bullied like the Sick Poor and ILL and so has the Con Dem Regime

    People Need to come Together to Stand Up to the Con Dem Regime instead of
    Just Suffering in Silence

    The Silent Majority are the Slavish Majority

    It is Throughly Un Acceptable to Hear that from April 2013 Appeals will WCA
    will Result in the Appellant being on Below Subsistence ” Jobseeker’s Allowance ”
    whilst MPS Get £65,000 per Year plus Expenses

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