‘Anne Maguire demands end to ATOS tests that teenager says killed his father’
LABOUR’S (Shadow Minister for Disabled People) Anne McGuire told the Commons about brave 13-year-old Kieran McArdle, whose dad Brian suffered a heart attack after losing his benefits
THE Atos fitness for work tests that a teenager blames for the death of his disabled dad should be ditched, an MP demanded yesterday.
The plea came as Labour’s Anne McGuire told the Commons about Kieran McArdle, whose dad Brian collapsed of a heart attack because of the stress of losing his benefits.
The 13-year-old, from Larkhall, Lanarkshire, wrote a letter to the Daily Record about the work capability assessments administered by French firm Atos, who he blames for Brian’s death.
The Record delivered his plea for reform to the department for Work and Pensions last week, and Secretary of State Iain Duncan Smith promised to reply.
McGuire raised the Record’s coverage of the case in the Commons yesterday and used it to demand the tests be abandoned.
The Stirling MP said: “Brian was paralysed down his left hand side, blind in one eye and unable to speak properly. Yet he was declared fit for work.
“Atos said in response our trained doctors, nurses and physiotherapists strictly follow the guidelines given to them by the government.
“Given the crescendo of complaints about the workings of the work capability assessments should the minister not accept his responsibilty and undertake a fast and fundamental review.”
Mark Hoban, the Work and Pensions Minister, said his condolences are with Mr McArdle’s family.
But he said the system only needed refinements to make it work.
He added: “We and Atos go to great lengths to make the process as fair as possible.”