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


  2. Tories won’t give us a job

    Daily Mail columnist Richard Littlejohn writes that there is no intent from the government to rob the “genuinely” disabled.

    Why then is the government’s new definition of “fitness to work” based on criteria that no employer will recognise when recruiting staff? And that includes the government’s own departments.

    P Couch, Plymouth


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  4. 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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