LABOUR’S Tom Greatrex says the Tory government should be demanding money back from Atos because of the mess they have made of the work assessment tests.
FIT-TO-WORK testers Atos are making record profits while running shambolic medical assessments of disabled people on benefits.
Yesterday, Labour’s Tom Greatrex said the Coalition should be claiming money back from the French IT firm because of the mess they have made of the dreaded work capability tests.
The MP for Rutherglen and Hamilton West spoke out after the company announced a 36 per cent increase in profits for 2012.
Atos boasted a net global income increase of 23 per cent to £193million and record commercial activity with £8.6billion of orders.
In their annual report, the company bragged that one of their
“main wins above 100million euros in 2012”
was a contract with the UK’s Department for Work and Pensions.
The DWP hired Atos to carry out work capability tests on disabled people.
The firm won contracts worth more than £400million last August to assess whether claimants were eligible for incapacity benefit. Atos are receiving £238million for work in Scotland and the north of England, according to the DWP.
Claimants who are judged fit can have their benefits cut if they don’t return to work.
But Atos’s assessments have been widely discredited and almost 40 per cent of claimants have had decisions overturned on appeal.
The cost of running the appeals system is borne by the Government, not Atos.
“These figures are a slap in the face to sick and disabled people across Britain.
“It is unfair that, as successful appeals increase, the company’s profits go through the roof.
“There is no excuse for Tory ministers failing to get a grip and demanding money back from Atos for getting it so badly wrong.”
Up to 50,000 disabled Scots are being forced back to work by DWP benefits bullies.
Figures show that 70 per cent of people assessed by Atos are passed as being fit to work – and the remaining 30 per cent face repeat tests in less than a year.
The Government aim to cut spending on the benefit by 20 per cent in three years.
An Atos spokesman said the DWP contract was valued at £400million but that did not reflect profits.
The official added: “We have worked with the DWP for over a decade and our contract with them represents less than two per cent of our revenue.”