The Liverpool Post Sep 6 2012
LAST week saw a protest at the Pier Head by members of the public and public sector workers about the way the government’s contractor, Atos, assesses the fitness to work of disabled people on Merseyside.
Mr Brocklebank’s colleagues in the press have many times highlighted cases of where people who have scored ‘nil points’ and been told they are now capable of doing a job.
But Freedom of Information requests revealed a third of those who were told there was nothing stopping them from working for a living had Atos’s decisions overturned on appeal.
Some of those who have had to take the 15-point test (which includes being able to pick up a coin from the floor – which is more than you’ll ever have to do if you’re on the coalition’s Work Programme, on which you don’t get paid anyway!) have told Mr B that they believe the entire set up is designed to make sure the disabled person in question fails the test.
For one thing, the person up for review must walk yards and yards across the floor of the Port of Liverpool building to register at the front desk (which is one of the fitness-for-work tests unwittingly passed already, even if they’ve gone blue in the face and are ready for collapse by the time they get there).
It’s no wonder those who have had the unfortunate experience of having to undergo this gruelling and demeaning experience call Mann Island – with typical plucky Scouse humour – ‘The Lourdes of the North’!