‘Seven medals but now the Tories want my benefits’ ~ British Paralympic Gold Medalist Tara Flood Speaks Out

Paralympic swimmer Tara Flood faces Atos tests that could lead to a benefits cut (Pic: Guy Smallman)

Paralympic winner speaks out and says get Atos out of the Games

Paralympic gold medallist and world record holder Tara Flood faces a test that could see her lose her disability benefits, she told Socialist Worker.

Tara is a seven-time Paralympic medallist. In 1992 she set a world record for 50 metres breaststroke that still stands today.

But that hasn’t saved her from the Tories’ harsh benefits clampdown.

“I’ve already had my letter,” she said. “At some point next year it will be my turn to be assessed.”

Tara is one of hundreds of thousands of people in the Tories’ sights as they try to slash benefits for sick and disabled people.


She said that receiving Disability Living Allowance made a huge difference to her everyday life.

“Without it I wouldn’t be able to get out of the house,” she said. “It’s a fundamental benefit, not linked to work.”


As the Paralympics begin, Tara pointed out the government’s hypocrisy. “They’re calling us scroungers and benefit cheats at the same time as they celebrate the Paralympics,” she said. “It’s like disabled people are either elite athletes or workshy scroungers.”

Tara spoke out on a protest against Atos, the private firm that carries out humiliating assessments to decide who gets benefits and who doesn’t.

Incredibly, Atos is an official sponsor of the Paralympics. “Atos destroys disabled people’s lives,” Tara said. “It gets me so angry.

“It is carrying out a government contract and a government agenda to punish disabled people for the financial crisis. It’s no coincidence that hate crime against disabled people has increased massively since the coalition government came in.”

But Tara added that this week’s action against Atos could encourage more resistance against the Tories.

“It’s a scary time,” she said. “But there’s a growing backlash against the government’s right wing agenda. So many people who would never have gone out and protested before are saying enough is enough.” 

Want to get a ticket to the Paralympics? If you’re a wheelchair user, it could cost more than you think. The only way to get wheelchair tickets is to wait on hold on a premium rate number—at a cost of up to 41p per minute. 

The following should be read alongside this article:

‘Atos forced me to crawl on the floor in tears’

The Socialist Worker

4 thoughts on “‘Seven medals but now the Tories want my benefits’ ~ British Paralympic Gold Medalist Tara Flood Speaks Out

  1. jacy says:

    Atos, asked me if i ever tried to kill myself. I was there to be assessed for a neurological condition that affects the fuctioning of my body’s internal clock. Still, 2 months on i don’t understand the relevance of that question. When answered about an attempt over 10 years ago, they asked me how.

  2. Humanity2012 says:

    It is Evil Nasty and In Humane the Sort of Scummish Thing the 1933 to 1945
    National Socialist Regime would do with the ” Useless Eaters ” and the ” Work Sky ”

    There are too many Idiots in the UK and the World and Certainly Far too Many
    in the ” Democratic ” Parliament of Westminster

  3. jeffery davies says:

    and there we have it in a nut shell i agree with everything she has said ,atos made by blair used by torys to make us go quietly ,but where are those mps who line up to save us not many are there jeff3

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