Iain Duncan Smith promises more disabled benefits cuts in Scotland ~ The Scottish Daily Record

 

By David Clegg Comments 20 Sep 2012 07:36 

THE Work and Pensions Secretary was the man behind bringing in Atos, who have been criticised for humiliating fit-for-work tests.

Iain Duncan Smith speaks at Glasgow Welfare to Work conference

THE man who told the Atos axemen to slash disability bills came to Scotland yesterday to admit there was “room for improvement”.

Iain Duncan Smith broke his silence on the scandal yesterday to confess to problems – before ­promising MORE cuts in Scotland.

But critics hit out at the visit to Glasgow, claiming he had come to “cover up his mess”.

The under-fire Work and Pensions Secretary brought in Atos Healthcare, who have been slated for carrying out humiliating fit-for-work tests on the disabled.

Duncan Smith, who called himself the Quiet Man during a disastrous spell as Tory leader, bowed to public anger after the Record exposed the impact of his devastating reforms to the welfare state.

Henry Sherlock, 50, a blind man from Falkirk, told MSPs on Tuesday that Atos made disabled people “feel like criminals” during the tough benefits tests.

Yesterday, scores of readers called the Record to say they too had been bullied and intimidated by the tests.

Confronted over the revelations yesterday, Duncan Smith admitted: “There is always room for ­improvement. I accept that. There is ­absolutely room for improvement.”

He told a welfare-to-work conference organised by the Centre for Economic and Social Inclusion that the assessment process was “under refinement”.

He added: “People with visual impairments talked to us about some of their issues and concerns about the way this works.”

Disabled Scots have hit out at the reforms, which will see disability living allowance replaced with personal independence payments.

Every disabled person who ­qualified for DLA faces tough ­assessments from Atos to see if they qualify for the new benefit.

Thousands will lose out, with the UK Government wanting a 20 per cent reduction in the benefits bill.

Atos insist they only carry out medical assessments and make no decisions on benefit entitlement.

But in a move that will horrify the country, Duncan Smith warned the Con-Dem Government were about to turn their guns back on Scotland.

He said: “We still have more to do

“Getting welfare inactivity down even further as our other reforms take effect.

“This is particularly pressing in Scotland where the workless household rate, at 20.3 per cent, is 2.4 percentage points higher than for the UK as a whole.

“From next year, we will begin to tackle the biggest disincentive that many people face – the fact that the current mess of benefits and tax credits creates a clear perception that work does not pay.

“It is this factor which can stop an individual’s journey back to work in its tracks.”

Labour’s Shadow Scots Secretary Margaret Curran was scathing about Duncan Smith’s visit and said even the Prime Minister had lost confidence in him.

She said: “Two weeks ago David Cameron tried to get rid of Iain Duncan Smith because he knows what we know – that his reforms to welfare aren’t working.

“Scots are suffering because of the changes he’s put in place, and now he comes to Scotland to try to cover up his mess.

“We need a welfare system that supports people back to work. But on his watch support has disappeared, long-term unemployment is at its highest for 16 years and one in five of our young people are out of work.”

Citizens Advice Scotland also blasted the Con-Dem plans and warned they would damage the Scottish economy.

Chief executive Margaret Lynch said: “We remain concerned that aspects of welfare changes that have happened recently and are due to be introduced, will be damaging to Scotland’s people, services and economy.

“With more than £2billion being taken out of the Scottish economy through benefit changes over the next few years, it is inevitable that people will suffer.”

A spokeswoman for Atos said: “We are always working to further improve and have made all the changes they have asked us to and more to ensure as comfortable an experience as possible.

“We do not make decisions on people’s benefit entitlement or on welfare policy.

“The assessment carried out by our doctors, nurses and physiotherapists forms an important but single piece of the information used by the DWP to make a decision on benefit entitlement.”

The Scottish Daily Record

Comments
  • jeffery davies September 20, 2012 at 10:10 am

    christians where this lot must practise the dark arts of it as they kill more of us daily while still smilling putting the knife in deeper they say while we starve and some go homeless just to so that their paymasters might get to keep their riches which they thieve of us how are they who are millioniares allowed to do this jeff3

  • pete September 20, 2012 at 10:18 am

    THE LABOUR PARTY ARE HAPPY FOR DISABLED PEOPLE TO DIE AS WELL

    They are not on the side of the people – who’d want Miliband anyway????????????????

    Yvette Cooper laying flowers for the two coppers – she’s never laid any for the dead disabled – bastards the lot of ’em!!!!!!!!!!!

  • Humanity2012 September 20, 2012 at 12:10 pm

    Anyone who Votes for Tory Scum is Thick as Concrete but Half as Useful

    Things have Definitely got WORSE under the Toff TORIES

    Shame on All those who have Done Nothing

    Shame upon the Liberal Democrats for Collaborating with the Tyrannical Tories

    I Believe in Redistribution of Wealth from Rich to Poor and Stuff the Capitalist
    System

  • Linda Nightingale September 20, 2012 at 3:31 pm

    Love the way ATOs shift responsibility from themselves onto the DWP.

  • Bill MacLeod September 21, 2012 at 1:13 pm

    Ian Duncan Smith did not introduce ATOS, LABOUR did!!!

  • Humanity2012 September 22, 2012 at 10:17 am

    The Tory Regime has Messed Up Educational Maintainence Allowance made
    Squatting an Offence and been Pushing the Welfare Reform Act whilst from
    April 2013 an Appalling Situation that is the UK Situation will only become
    WORSE for those Not Born into Wealth and Privilege

    The Bloodbath of the War in Afghanistan Continues and the Tories have
    Not Scrapped Nuclear Weapons

    Labour went Downhill because of the Adoption of Tory Policies such asd
    when Clause 4 was Scrapped

    Netherless Things were Far from Perfect but they were Better under a Labour
    Government than a Tory Government

    The Tory Regime must Go and Never Again should there be a Tory Government

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