Tories label Atos scandal stories ‘anecdotal’ but Daily Record’s campaign is hailed by other parties

By David Clegg 27 Sep 2012 07:39

PARTIES hit out at ‘disgraceful’ work capability assessments carried out by Atos that have left many people feeling humiliated.

MSP Kevin Stewart

 

THE Daily Record’s exposure of the Atos scandal yesterday won cross-party praise at Holyrood.

SNP MSP Kevin Stewart waved a copy of the paper in parliament as he launched a stinging attack on the “humiliating” tests carried out by the French firm on behalf of the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP).

And Labour’s health spokeswoman Jackie Baillie described our coverage as “campaigning journalism at its best”.

But the Tories weren’t convinced, saying many of the Atos horror stories were “anecdotal”.

Tory MSP Alex Johnstone said:

“Nobody could fail to be moved by many of the stories that have been brought to the committee.

“But many of the stories we have heard are anecdotal. It is difficult to find a statistical or empirical set of figures to tell us exactly what these problems are.”

They were speaking during a debate on the work capability assessments that have sparked outrage across Scotland.

The Record has been telling the stories of Scots who have fallen foul of the tests – and of former staff who have seen from the inside how Atos operate.

Yesterday, we revealed more than half of the people stripped of disability benefits after
being ruled “fit for work” are left unemployed and without income.

After quoting at length from the Record’s report, Stewart said:

“This is absolutely disgraceful.”

He added:

“While I am no cheerleader for Atos, it is Westminster that is to blame for this.

“Although Atos are doing their bidding, they are doing so under the direction of the Department for Work and Pensions in London.

“The work capability assessment has been discredited so much by individuals who have gone through the process and by the overwhelming evidence it can no longer be seen as fit for purpose.

“Having to go through the system is stressful enough – it is sometimes frightening and daunting for claimants – and having to wait up to six weeks for communication from the DWP is unacceptable.

“When medical professionals are against a system which claims to be foolproof, surely it’s time for the UK Government to scrap it and create a system that works for disabled people?”

Baillie, the Dumbarton MSP, also blasted the UK Government.

She said:

“I am always reminded when discussing welfare reform that David Cameron promised that the cuts would fall on those with the broadest shoulders.

“I presumed that would mean his cabinet of millionaires – but it is not falling on their shoulders but on some of the most vulnerable in our society.”

Turning to the Record’s coverage, she added:

“Can I also take this opportunity to congratulate the Daily Record on their campaign, bringing to us real life stories that demonstrate the indignity of the process and the incompetence of Atos.

“This is in my view campaigning journalism at its best.”

 

The Scottish Daily Record

 

Comments
  • jeffery davies September 30, 2012 at 5:20 pm

    yes our beloved mps who have allwed this to happen but are they going to put it right nah dont think so just go quietly sick and disabled please go quietly jeff3

  • Lovejoy October 1, 2012 at 1:23 am

    Good for the Daily Record – looks like the opposition to the Final Solution is gaining momentum.

  • roger Allnot October 1, 2012 at 12:08 pm

    The Daily Record campaign was truly awful. The nurse they quoted was dismissed for incompetence, and they had to withdraw a number of statements as their correspondents were untrustoworthy. Gutter press at its worst

  • Humanity2012 October 1, 2012 at 3:53 pm

    We Need this Present Day Final Solution Stopped in its Tracks

    No More Suffering and Misery Inflicted by the Poor and Vulnerable by
    the Millionaires Regime

  • Humanity2012 October 2, 2012 at 3:10 pm

    Studying History it Appears that the Poor Law Amendment Act of 1834 was
    Criticised in many Quarters for Enriching the Landowner at the Expense of the
    Poor and Contributing to Povertisation

    Especially In the North of England it was Un Popular

    It Seems that Malthusian Population Extermination was One of the Driving Forces
    of the 1834 Poor Law Amendment Act together with Ricardo’s Infamous ” Iron Law
    of Wages ” in other Words Glorified Slave Labour and Bentham’s so called
    ” Utilitarianism ” that it was Wrong for People to Want Human Rights instead of
    being Pavlovian Dogs which Glorified Misery Suffering and Oppression

    Does History Repeat itself with the ” Welfare Reform Act ” and Poverty Misery
    and Suffering is Glorified instead of a Genuine Caring Society Free of the
    Cancer Virus of Free to be a Slave Market Capitalism and with the Much Needed
    Redistribution of Wealth from Rich to Poor so the Many Not the Few have a
    Decent Standard of Living

    It is Not that there is a Lack of Money to Provide For Welfare For the Poor and
    Vulnerable in Society it is Just that Billions are Wasted upon War Mongering
    Nuclear Weapons the EU Mess

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