Wednesday, 22 January 2014

Consign ATOS to the dustbin of history

“Outsourcing the assessment of sick, disabled and vulnerable people to a private corporation, especially one with such a disgraceful track record as ATOS, is a scandal. 54% of people in Brighton and Hove who appeal ATOS’s ‘professional’ judgements are successful –yet Ministers have so far refused to take action to get rid of ATOS and their thoroughly discredited Work Capability Assessment.”

The above statement was made by Caroline Lucas, a Green Party MP. However, this observation could have been made by any one of the countless thousands of disability activists created by this government; people who have suffered under at the hands of ATOS unfair and flawed medical assessments.
For years benefits claimants and their supporters have criticised the way in which ATOS conducts its assessments of sick and disabled people for ESA; and this criticism has been vindicated by the number of ATOS decisions that are overturned on appeal in favour of the claimant.

ATOS should be consigned to the dustbin of history as the social welfare killer it is

Yet despite ATOS’s appalling record; the fact that they get so many assessments wrong, they go unpunished.

In what other field of work or service provision, apart from maybe the banking system or Parliament, would such gross failure be tolerated? Indeed, again bankers and MPs excepted, failure on this kind of scale in the private sector would invoke penalty clauses and very likely early termination of contracts; even in the public sector serious questions would be asked, scrutiny committees would investigate ATOS’s abysmal record.

So Caroline, keep up the pressure on this government; and I hope you’ll join the thousands of ‘Anti-ATOS’ demonstrators when they march in Brighton on March 9th

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