British disabled people keep fighting Atos

This video is from England is called Youth Forum at Norfolk Coalition of Disabled People.

By Will Stone in Britain:

New research shows how disabled bear brunt of Tory cuts

Thursday 06 September 2012

Campaigners protested in force outside welfare outsourcing firm Atos‘ Norfolk HQ today to launch a report detailing the full extent of the government’s ruthless “austerity war” against disabled people.

The study dubbed Disabled People: Collateral damage in the government’s austerity war represents the first detailed, comprehensive study of the affect of cuts and other welfare changes on disabled people and their families.

Economist Chris Edwards of the University of East Anglia carried out the research, commissioned by Norfolk Coalition of Disabled People, after the government refused to conduct an impact assessment on how its “austerity” measures will affect disabled people.

Disability organisations and charities have argued that disabled people are shouldering a massively unequal share of the burden of cuts and reforms to the welfare state.

And Mr Edwards confirmed their claims.

In the four years to 2015 the poorest 20 per cent of 2.7 million households receiving disability benefits will lose 16 per cent of their total income – four times as much as that lost by the richest 20 per cent of households.

Mr Edwards pinpointed the causes as cuts in cash benefits, increases in taxes – most notably VAT – and cuts in benefits-in-kind in local government, education, health and other departmental expenditure that amounts to £69 billion over the four years from 2011-12 through 2014-15.

Total cuts to disability benefits are estimated to reach £9bn over the four years.

He said that the austerity package is not working and disabled people were paying the price.

Mr Edwards told the Morning Star: “It’s the madness of (Mervyn) King and George (Osborne).

“Osborne should be fired and take a course in GCSE economics.

“All the advances that disabled people have made over the period since 1945 are being reversed.”

The full report can be found at

England: A pioneering project in West Yorkshire which has helped thousands of disabled people into work and training is being axed because of government cuts: here.

Britain: Ministers were forced to back down today over their policy that cancer patients must seek work if they want to keep their benefits: here.

7 thoughts on “British disabled people keep fighting Atos

  1. Atos isn’t only problem with the benefit tests

    As we campaign against Atos, we should remember that it’s not just the privatisation of benefit tests that’s the problem—it’s the tests themselves.

    They began in 1995 with the introduction of the points-based all work test with the then-new incapacity benefit, which replaced invalidity benefit.

    At first these tests were run in-house. Then in 2000 the tests were outsourced to IT firm Sema. From there a series of takeovers has led to Atos.

    These tests, and the rigid bureaucratic process they are part of, are generally inadequate at capturing a claimant’s conditions.

    We should not just scrap the privatisation of these tests. We need to get rid of all “mechanical medicals”, whether run by or on behalf of the DWP, as their basic aim is to cut benefits. Instead we should demand they trust the judgement of independent healthcare professionals.

    Paul Murphy, east London


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  3. Cameron stabs disabled people in the back

    I want to thank you for writing about how the government is treating disabled people. I picked up a copy of Socialist Worker on a bus and it was spot on.

    I have chronic mental health problems and severe depression. But I failed an assessment and haven’t received any benefits for the last three months. I wasn’t told my benefits had been stopped. I just went to the bank and there wasn’t any money.

    It knocks you for six. I’ve got nothing to live on. I’ve had to borrow rent from friends and I could end up homeless.

    This government doesn’t know what it’s doing. They want to claw back money because they’ve overspent on wars. But they’re hurting vulnerable people.

    My friend had a stroke and can’t move one side of his body. But the government’s benefit assessors Atos failed him. A lot of my disabled friends went to war in Afghanistan. Now they’re told they can’t have any benefits.

    You feel bad anyway because you’re disabled and you can’t do things. Then they take your money and it strips you of everything. It’s like disabled people are being put in a ghetto. I’ve thought about ending everything. It’s only friends who are keeping me afloat.

    It’s not as though I haven’t worked. It’s just unfortunate that I became ill and had to stop. I used to be a carer—I took the weight off the system. Then they treat you like you’re nothing.

    It was sickening to see David Cameron cheering disabled people during the Paralympics when he’s stabbing us in the back.

    I think this is going to become a much bigger issue. Come Christmas there will be disabled people out on the street because they’ve lost their benefits.

    I’m not a political person. But you’ve got to say something when they treat you like this. I don’t want to be a forgotten cause. I want to speak up and I think everybody should be protesting against the government.

    Melanie Brignell, Hull


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