Teen’s letter about cruel effects of Atos hand-delivered by Record to Iain Duncan Smith’s Whitehall office

 

KIERAN MCARDLE accuses Atos of killing his dad after the French firm claimed he was “fit to work”, despite suffereing a stroke that left him paralysed down one side and blind in one eye.

Kieran McArdle, 13, wrote a letter to Atos after his father's death at just 57.
Kieran McArdle, 13, wrote a letter to Atos after his father’s death at just 57.

A TEENAGE boy’s harrowing letter about the cruel effects of Atos’s fit-for-work tests has been passed on to Iain Duncan Smith.

Kieran McArdle wrote to the Record to tell how his dad Brian died the day after his disability benefits were stopped.

The 13-year-old accuses Atos of killing his dad after the French firm deemed him “fit for work” – despite a stroke that left him paralysed down his left side, unable to speak properly, blind in one eye and barely able to eat.

Kieran said he wrote his letter to “maybe save some other family the loss of their loved-one”.

Yesterday, we hand-delivered his anguished appeal to end the hated assessments to Duncan Smith’s Whitehall office.

The Work and Pensions Secretary has been at the centre of the storm over Atos and their hounding of disabled Scots.

Last week, the former Tory leader was blasted for “disrespecting” Scotland after he refused to appear before MSPs to defend his brutal welfare cuts.

His Atos axemen also snubbed Holyrood’s welfare reform committee.

Kieran wrote that his father constantly worried about how he would survive without the cash he needed.

The day after his benefits were stopped in September, 57-year-old Brian collapsed and died in the street near his home in Larkhall, Lanarkshire. He had suffered a heart attack.

 

Daily Record Westminster correspondent Torquil Creighton
Daily Record Westminster correspondent Torquil Creighton

 

There have been thousands of complaints and appeals against the fitness-to-work tests being carried out by Atos.

And Kieran gave voice to the anger of many disabled people and their families in his letter.

He wrote: “Those Atos people should hang their heads in shame for what they are doing to these poor disabled people.

“They are supposed to be targeting the fraudsters, not killing off the genuine folk with their disgusting tactics.”

Labour MP Tom Greatrex, who has campaigned against Atos, said: “This awful case shows exactly why the assessment isn’t fit for purpose and needs urgent reform.

“For people to die whilst either waiting for their appeal or after they have been kicked off benefit is a scandal.”

The Department for Work and Pensions said: “Our sympathy goes out to Mr McArdle’s family during what is obviously a difficult time.

“The letter will be brought to the attention of the Secretary of State at the earliest opportunity.”

The Scottish Daily Record

Comments
  • Marilyne Kubath November 2, 2012 at 12:20 pm

    To whose rules are Atos working?

  • Serenity November 2, 2012 at 12:38 pm

    Excellent it’s about time these murderers in power were confronted with their evil deeds when they are killing at least 3848 per year with their so called WCA, murder on an industrial scale .

  • jed goodright November 2, 2012 at 4:07 pm

    Mr Duncan Shit expressed a modicum of concern on receiving this letter. He was surpised the anyone would want to write to him. He usually doesn’t read letters. He is feeling down in the dumps today.

    He confessed that ” nobody cares about him…. he has never achieved anything of great importance in his life. His wealth is his wife’s, he even had to alter his CV to look more appealing to employers. No matter how he tries, being nasty has not got him anymore friends or the leadership of his favourite party.”

    There is no doubt Mr Duncan Shit has been moved by this. Tomorrow he will announce the death penalty for any benefit claimants caught being alive over 35 years of age.

  • Aletheia November 6, 2012 at 9:04 am

    This young man will go far. even in his grief, Kieran can see the atrocities affecting all the sick and disabled, unlike the atos employees who are professional hitmen and women.

  • Roger Allnot November 6, 2012 at 3:11 pm

    You may want to read the reader comments attached to this story in the Daily Record. Although this is a terribly sad story, someone who knew this gentleman points out that he had ‘managed’ the benefits system for many many years.
    I am very saddened that the Record has misused this poor boy’s grief to try to promote the shameless political ambitions of Tom Greatrex. All that happens is that the background to the story is played out in the comments column, which will upset the son even more

  • clarebelz November 6, 2012 at 6:14 pm

    I wouldn’t read too much into the comments under the article. Perhaps the person commenting knew the fellow well; perhaps not. But, as we all know, the dead can’t defend themselves. He may have had depression, or another ‘invisible’ illness. Just the other day, yet again someone that I considered a friend, when asking why I can’t have day trips out or a holiday now, said ‘don’t you think that you’re making excuses?’ I only wish. Even people who think that they know us, don’t know us at all.

    You know, I always viewed myself as a ‘deserving’ claimant when I was finally forced to give up work 3 years ago. I had to work with a serious illness for many years; I just couldn’t get disability benefits, and when I had to take a year off now again, I was destitute living on income support and was starved back into work that I couldn’t maintain, so I felt very strongly about people who did play the system, when I had struggled so much. At the same time, having studied at university about the welfare state, and why the ‘establishment’ brought it about (basically to avoid a revolution in the UK), I also felt strongly that it was a necessary evil.

    I commented under an article last year about how a small minority played the system and how this made me angry, and someone replied quite simply:’ even the feckless need food’. Yes, because if they aren’t, if people addicted to drugs, alcohol, or just can’t be arsed to work don’t get some form of support, they will thieve or do anything to get that money. And if this gentleman did play the system all his life, well at least his family thought a lot of him, and more importantly, he was very ill in the end; no doubt that this contributed to his death in some way, and he did not deserve to die in mental anguish: very sad indeed.

    My thoughts go out to this brave young man who has the guts to write such a letter. I hope that it helps in some way.

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