Jul 082012

 Labour MP John McDonnell –a great and significant supporter of DPAC has launched an attempt to get the House of Commons to debate the £100m-a-year contract awarded to Atos to carry out work capability assessments of people applying for Employment and Support Allowance – which he claims has led to the deaths of 1,100 claimants put in the category for compulsory work-related activity.

In an Early Day Motion tabled last Thursday, John McDonnell (Labour MP for Hayes and Harlington) also praised the British Medical Association whose Annual Representative Conference last week called for the work capability assessment to be scrapped immediately and to be replaced with a system that does not harm the most vulnerable people in society.

His motion also includes condemnation of the decision to allow Atos to sponsor the Paralympics which follow the London Olympic Games and, for good measure, Dow Chemical’s sponsorship of the Games themselves.

Dow took over the Union Carbide company whose plant at Bhopal, India, leaked methyl isocyanate gas in 1984 – leading to the deaths and injury of thousands of people in the vicinity. The event was one of the world’s worst industrial disasters.

Please check the list of those MPs that have signed. If your MP isn’t there then a list on twitter can be found at https://t.co/E4f8RO2h

Or check http://www.theyworkforyou.com/mps/

Remember front benchers cannot sign EDMs

With thanks to welfare Union for letting us repost: http://socialwelfareunion.org/

Acknowledgements also to: the meassociation, Respect for the Unemployed and Benefits Claimants

Early Day Motion 295

Session 2012-13
Date tabled: 28.06.2012
Primary sponsor: McDonnell, John

That this House deplores that thousands of sick and disabled constituents are experiencing immense hardship after being deprived of benefits following a work capability assessment carried out by Atos Healthcare under a 100 million a year contract; notes that 40 per cent of appeals are successful but people wait up to six months for them to be heard; deplores that last year 1,100 claimants died while under compulsory work-related activity for benefit and that a number of those found fit for work and left without income have committed or attempted suicide; condemns the International Paralympic Committee’s promotion of Atos as its top sponsor and the sponsorship of the Olympics by Dow Chemical and other corporations responsible for causing death and disability; welcomes the actions taken by disabled people, carers, bereaved relatives and organisations to end this brutality and uphold entitlement to benefits; and applauds the British Medical Association call for the work capability assessment to end immediately and to be replaced with a system that does not cause harm to some of the most vulnerable people in society.




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  8 Responses to “Ask your MP to sign Early Day Motion against Atos deaths”

  1. I don’t want to worry anyone at the moment, but if I lose my tribunal on the 12th July I can’t see what other choice I have other than to make a statement – a big statement.

    For the last 30 years I have suffered with incredibly dibilitating depression, have self-harmed and been admitted to the Bristol Royal Infirmary several times for suicide attempts.

    About 10 or 11 years ago I had a breakdown at work and then had 10 years on incapacity benefit. A year and a half ago I was switched to ESA and in February this year ATOS decided to suspend my benefit (I wonder how much they are paid for each person they move off benefit?).

    On July 12th I have my tribunal in Bristol. If I lose that I can see no further way forward and will make a personal statement by killing myself outside either Flowers Hill DWP assessment centre in Brislington, Bristol, or something a bit more public in the centre of Bristol.

    I cannot cope anymore with the problems that have been caused by ATOS and the DWP – I am so fed up and depressed and the worst thing to me is that I have become – at times – argumentative and (not physically) aggressive towards my partner and my 6 cats – it’s not their fault and I hate what I have been forced to become.

    I can’t think what else to say, sorry.

  2. sent one to my local MP a few months ago….actually had a letter back from the Tory twat….”i don’t sign Early day motions as they are no more than political graffitti”…read no further than that!!! and he’s just been given a post in the “reshuffle”

  3. I put my appeal in in July 2011, I finally heard in March 2012 at the same time I received another WCA invite!

  4. I would ask my MP the member for Oundle but she will just ignore me good luck there must be some MP’s with a heart.

  5. I do think they need to check their facts though. Six months waiting for an appeal is wrong. I put in my appeal a year ago and I’m still waiting!

  6. some one is making money out of this. even rabid tories would not accept that the amount of cash being spent on this shambles should be invested in the economy to create jobs.so someone is making cash, trouble is you could not prove.it

  7. I’ll certainly press my MP to sign, but being a staunch ‘acceptable collateral damage” Tory, I doubt he will.

    Whilst the %s quoted here are accurate, according to Fullfact, the overall WCA error rate (measured by successful appeals vs. the overall number of WCAs undertaken) is around 10%. Atos has picked up on this and includes the underlying analysis on its own website – 10% of course sounds a lot better than 40% and allows them to suggest exaggeration, when in fact different things are being reported.
    The issue then becomes “is 10% reasonable and acceptable”, which of course depends on the consequences of an error which as the motion here shows, could not be any more severe. So no, 10% is not acceptable under the current regime.

    I just feel that the sooner we debate and agree what is acceptable (given 0% is probably unrealistic) and the fact that the odd errors should only be at the margins, the sooner we will make headway – arguing over the stats themselves is just a diversion that suits DWP well and allows them to continue to avoid the real issues.

    Note that despite all the talk about the importance of the right-first-time decision rate, DWP does not and has no plans to track it to support their claims on sustained improvement to the WCA process.

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