Atos Boss earns £44k a WEEK while Disabled Fight to Keep Just £131

ATmeme

Last year, ten thousand six hundred sick and disabled people died within weeks of losing their benefits, after Atos assessed them as ‘fit to work’.  Thierry Breton, boss of IT firm Atos, has just been awarded a £280k pay rise, bringing his total remuneration to £2.3m a year. While disabled people were hounded to death for a maximum of £131.50 Disability Living Allowance a week, the head of the business chasing them earned £44,000 a week.  This is not austerity, it is travesty.

The Bogus Case for Mr Atos

 AT02

Atos didn’t just enter with the Coalition.  They have been the sole provider of medical assessments for the DWP since 1998.  While Atos is the bulldog, it is the ministers of the DWP who hold the leash – and this government have given a firm order to attack.

The government has mandated that every single person claiming social security payments for sickness or disability undergo a work capability test with Atos, to determine whether they could really be working.  The clear implication being – these people could really be working. In fact, ministers have not merely implied it, but propagandised about it until many people believe it was benefit fraud, and not the Bank Bailout which caused our sky high debt.

Earlier this year, the UK Statistics Authority publicly condemned the DWP’s misleading use of figures, accusing them of making claims about the efficacy of their policies that were ‘unsupported by official statistics’.  In short, they are just making this stuff up.  The Guardian has also exposed repeated cases of the Secretary of State Iain Duncan Smith, and Tory party Chairman Grant Shapps, misrepresenting data on benefit claims and the results of their policies.

The made up figures made it into press releases, which resulted in bogus articles in the Telegraph, The Mail, The Sun, the Express and the ITV and BBC News (along with myriad local news outlets)– all of which parroted disinformation without bothering to verify it.

As a result, the lies repeated often enough became the truth and a climate of suspicion formed around those who find themselves reliant on the welfare system.

Despite all this posturing and bemoaning, the DWP’s own estimates put the cost of benefit fraud at just £1.2bn (or only 0.7% of claimants).  To put this in context, the DWP loses almost double that (£2.3bn) each year through administrative error.  The cost, financial and human, being meted out on the disabled and the physically and mentally ill today is not necessary. It is pure ideology – to pit us against each other and dismantle the welfare state.

The Financial Cost of Atos

SO4

We are clear on the costs of benefit fraud.  However, the costs of the Atos are much more difficult to pick apart.  Mainly down to our government’s utter lack of transparency and misuse of data.

A recent report by the Public Accounts Committee (PAC), the select committee responsible for assessing value for money for the tax payer, found that the tax payer was not getting a good deal from Atos – and that the blame lay solely at the door of the DWP.

In 2011-12, the DWP paid Atos £112.4m to put 738,000 people through work capability assessments.  Despite the headlines about how many people were found fit to work by these assessments, the PAC found that 38% of these decisions were overturned on appeal, resulting in court costs of over £50m.

They also found evidence that this was getting worse, with Citizens Advice reporting an 83% rise in people seeking support for appeals last year alone.  They were right: ESA appeals rose 70% last year, with benefit appeals now constituting 58% of all tribunal cases.  Last year 76% of those who appealed, won their cases and were found eligible to receive benefits.

Despite this lamentable performance, the PAC found that the DWP had made no attempt to create competition for the contract, meaning Atos had been allowed to continue providing the service for 14 years, without a single challenge from another supplier.

In the final insult, The PAC found that the DWP had not even attempted to assess value for money from the Atos contract, and does not calculate the cost/benefit analysis of the contract.

The government are not seeking to increase value for money for the tax payer.  If they were, they would be monitoring it.  They simply wish to transfer the funds we are using to support each other, to funnel into high value contracts for their private partners.

The Human Cost of Atos

AT04

The financial cost of this policy is enormous, but the human cost is outrageous.  The government’s own statistics show that between 2010 and 2011 10,600 sick and disabled people died within six weeks of losing their benefits after being assessed as ‘fit to work’ by Atos and the DWP.  This is 204 people a week, or 29 people a day, dying of the illnesses and conditions that the government has dictated they are fit to work with. These people spent their final weeks alive being harassed by the Job Centre, late payment notices and threats of eviction as their social safety net was ripped away.

As this horrific figure of more than one person every hour is almost too large to conceive of, here are some names among that number.

Linda Wootton, 49, was on 10 medications a day after a double lung and heart transplant.  She was weak and suffered regular bouts of blackouts.  She was put through the Atos Work Capability Assessment and as she lay in a hospital bed dying, she received confirmation she was ‘fit to work’.  She died just nine days later.  Her husband Peter said:

“I sat there and listened to my wife drown in her own bodily fluids. It took half an hour for her to die; a woman who is apparently fit for work”.

Brian McArdle, 57, had been left paralysed down one side, blind in one eye, unable to speak properly and barely able to eat and dress himself after a stroke on Boxing Day 2011. Despite this, he was deemed ‘fit to work’ by Atos.  He died of a heart attack the day after his benefit payments were stopped.  His thirteen year old son Kieran told the Daily Record:

“Even though my dad had another stroke just days before his assessment, he was determined to go…He tried his best to walk and talk because he was a very proud man, but even an idiot could have seen my dad wasn’t fit for work.

Colin Traynor, 29, suffered from epilepsy.  He was deemed ‘fit for work’ by Atos and forced to enter a lengthy, bureaucratic process to appeal the decision – during which his benefits would be frozen.  He did not live to see the result of his appeal.  Five weeks after his death, his family received the news that his appeal was successful.  Too late for Colin.  His father Ray said:

“I firmly believe – 100% believe – that the system this government introduced has killed my son.”

At the rate at which people are dying – these three people represent the death toll in just the last three hours.  This is not just some occasional poor decisions, this is a Linda, a Brian, or a Colin, every hour, all day, every day, dying because this system is designed to throw people out of the social security system – whether they need it or not.

They Don’t Give Atos

  AT05

The government couldn’t seem to care less about the fact that Atos are plunging tens of thousands of sick and disabled people into poverty in their time of greatest need, indeed they are instructing them to do just that.

The decisions are bad enough, but the process itself is also humiliating and distressing.  One woman suffered from Crohn’s disease resulting in multiple bouts of extreme diarrhoea each day which sometimes led to hospitalisation. She was told she was fit to work and instructed to wear a nappy.

Charles Foreman suffers a degenerative bone condition and uses a wheelchair.  He attended his Atos assessment only to be refused access as Atos claimed his wheelchair was a fire security risk – meaning the location chosen to assess disability did not even have appropriate access for disabled people.

Despite this, Atos will receive £206m this year to conduct these assessments, while their boss earns a cool £2.3m.  The boss’s wage alone could fund maximum benefit for 334 people too ill to work.

While the poorest are forced to justify the meagre support they receive to meet the costs of living, the richest are allowed to profit from the tax payer pound with zero scrutiny or accountability. This is not a recession, it is a robbery.

Take Action

Disabled People Against Cuts – DPAC have absolutely led the way on fighting the government and Atos.  They deserve our support.

WOW Campaign – join the campaign to end the War on Welfare.

50 thoughts on “Atos Boss earns £44k a WEEK while Disabled Fight to Keep Just £131

  1. Pingback: Death, Dehumanization & Degradation: Life under the Conservative Party | NOW & THEN

    • The 10600 was from January 2011 to November 2011 and the figures since have risen exponentially. The value for money cost to government is lower than £7 but we cannot get the figures under the freedom of information act as the DWP say that they are vexatious. You are right it is Atos at the front of it but it is the DWP and the government that are complicit in the deaths that no one reports or acknowledges

  2. Pingback: 29th January 2014 | The Daily Cameron

  3. I would argue that ATOS have NOT been the sole provider of assessments for the DWP since 1998. I was assessed for DLA in 2003 in my home by a local GP who was employed by the DWP directly. I was assessed again in 2006 for the same condition, following a freak deletion of some of my DWP records and an abrupt loss of benefits, by a different doctor who was also employed directly by the DWP.

    Through that period in my area assessments were carried out by a pool of local doctors who submitted their written reports directly to the DWP office here. It was not unusual for doctors to have more than one job, it was and probably still is legitimate for doctors to do so, many GPs also do clinical work in hospitals. There was, at the time of the first of these assessments, a list of the doctors names available, I didn’t bother to check the second time round. The process was utterly unlike todays assessments, as I said it was by a qualified working local GP, and conducted at home, though you could see the doctor at the DWP office too. It also came as a second stage in applying for DLA, the default situation for all who applied was that 1) you filled in the immense book that was the application form and 2) you sent it off, 3) your application was rejected, and 4) on appeal you got to see the doctor for an assessment. Relatively few people were awarded DLA on initial application. If you failed the medical you could then go to tribunal.

    Perhaps what is actually being referred to is this first part of the process, which did not involve any contact with the applicant – maybe ATOS worked on the paperwork at that time? Perhaps it was farmed out.

    I only glanced at the report, if it suggests that ATOS was in charge of everything including medical assessments, across the country, I suggest that someone is rewriting history.

    That bothers me. There seems to be an awful lot of it about. And people seem to have really short memories. On the other hand it is quite hard to realise exactly how much difference there is between then and now, the last 3 years have been devastating.

    I know it is not what you do, Scriptonite, obliterate the past, so it has to be the people who are supposed to be keeping our records straight………… Hmmm

  4. Would just love the whole lot of them would curl up an die , a painful horrible death , and let them fester in Hell because that’s were they are going , heartless excuses of humans

  5. Pingback: “Vote For Us! We Despise You!” – Tory Conference was a Parade of Privilege | Scriptonite Daily

  6. Pingback: The Scriptonite Daily Round up of the Week’s News | Scriptonite Daily

  7. This is just the sort of thing we have all come to expect from this Bankster run one party state that we all live in! They are all singing from the same hymn sheet now, whoever it is that supposedly wants power! The only way forward for the 99% is to follow the Icelandic example!

  8. Pingback: Frontline Friday 28th June 2013: Our favourite frontline blogs this week

  9. I repeat my blog which was posted on “Your Thurrock”.“A Word in Your Ear” from Mr Perrin.
    The Downing Street “Robber Barons” and the ATOS Healthcare “Gang”.
    I recently accompanied my nephew, who suffers with chronic schizophrenia, to an “assessment” by ATOS Healthcare, in partnership with the Government’s Department for Work and Pensions [DWP], to determine his fitness for work. I was appalled by the experience and considered the whole procedure nothing short of “state sponsored” harassment of people with serious physical disabilities or mental illness. They attend these” assessments” under duress and the” threat” that failure to attend could result in the loss of all or part of their disability benefits. It fails to say that by attending they are also at serious risk of losing all or part of their disability benefits on the arbitrary assessment of an employee of a Company, paid by the Government, whose remit is to “force” the sick and disabled into work regardless of the consequences. These “assessors” know little or nothing of the history of the “client” and rely mainly on the answers given, by the “client”, on the day, to questions they have already answered in a form sent to them by the DWP some weeks or months previously.
    My nephew received a letter from the DWP giving him the date, place and time he was required to attend and requested he arrive 10 minutes BEFORE the stated time, which he did. On arrival I noted that there were 20 “clients” already in attendance. My nephew informed the receptionist of his arrival and was immediately told that they were “running” late and that it was doubtful that he would be seen that day and a new date for his attendance would have to be made. I protested and asked how late they were running and was told approximately one hour. My nephew’s appointment time was 1100hrs so we were prepared to wait in order to be dealt with that day. We were further informed that each appointment took approximately 40 minutes with a further 10 minutes to allow the assessor to complete notes. Assuming that each assessor would deal with 4 “clients” in the morning i.e.0900hrs to 1300hrs and, with an hour for lunch, 3 in the afternoon i.e. 1400hrs to 1700hrs there being 3 assessors available that day, 21 “clients” would be dealt with and as there were already 20 clients waiting when we arrived I anticipated that we would be the last to be seen that day at around 1600hrs i.e. 5 hours later than the actual appointment time. Despite repeatedly being told by the receptionist that it was unlikely that we would be dealt with that day we were still prepared to wait in order to prevent having to rebook. The receptionist informed me that it did not work that way because there would be a further 20 “clients” arriving for the afternoon session so any morning “clients” not seen by 1200hrs would be sent home and rebooked. I could not believe what I was being told i.e. that probably 21 “clients” were being sent home daily and having to be rebooked at considerable cost to the taxpayer as many will have travelled a considerable distance, by car or public transport, and would be entitled to be reimbursed their travel costs, not just for that day but for any subsequent attendance. I “stuck to my guns” and insisted that my nephew would be dealt with that day and that he would head the list of the afternoon appointments which was, with some reluctance, eventually agreed.
    At 1400hrs, 3 hours later than the original time of his appointment, my nephew was called to meet with the assessor, a young lady who I judged to be between 25 to 30 years of age, I deemed it would be impolite if I asked her to verify her age. However, bearing in mind that she was about to assess my nephew’s ability to work, I considered it justified and pertinent to ask if she was a qualified doctor or psychiatrist the answer was no on both counts and when pressed she stated that she was a “general nurse” with some training in “mental health care”. So my nephew was to be assessed by a person who knows nothing whatsoever about my nephew as to how his illness and treatment affect him daily, other than what was given by the DWP, whose recommendation as to my nephew’s ability to work is based on a quick “question and answer” interview which the DWP, mindful of the Government’s “brief” i.e. get these “layabouts” back to work, will probably accept, ignoring the professional opinions and recommendations of his psychiatrist and GP who have known him and treated him for years and his “ family carers” who help him throughout each day. It is incomprehensible that such unqualified opinions should be given the same or even more weight than that of qualified professional s.
    Based upon my own experience there are some serious issues that need to be addressed quickly regarding the treatment of “clients” summoned to these “assessment” interviews, especially , having heard from others who have attended at different assessment clinics, it would not be unreasonable to assume that what I witnessed is happening at assessment clinics all over the country.
    The DWP needs to liaise with clinics and only make appointments for the number of “clients” each clinic can cope with daily. Re-bookings should be the exception not the rule thus saving a considerable amount of money due to having to pay travel costs more than once.
    People should not be treated like cattle herded into a waiting room for hours only to be told that they will not be dealt with that day and that they will have to come back some other time. No consideration is given to the inconvenience and stress caused to the “client”.
    I was troubled by the anxiety that permeated “clients” waiting to be “interrogated”, especially those afflicted by mental illness. The intimidatory atmosphere was made even more palpable by the presence of a person who one would normally expect to see on the doors of venues such as rock concerts and nightclubs, i.e. a “bouncer”, the purpose of his presence being all too obvious. My nephew told me, had he been on his own, he would not have dared to remonstrate or dissent in any way fearful it would be interpreted as aggressive behaviour and he would have been forcibly ejected from the premises or at worst the police would be called and he would be arrested and probably sectioned.
    This Government appears to delight in harrying those on benefits encouraging the view that most people on benefits are parasitical, lazy, workshy, fraudsters “living a life of riley” at the expense of the tax payer. The pleasure they seem to derive from this harassment conjures up, for me, the unseemly sight of people in red coats, mounted on horseback, shouting” tally-ho, tally-ho” as they indulge themselves in a “blood” sport at the end of which they rejoice in the “kill”. It is shameful that the Government does not exercise the same enthusiasm when tackling the problem of tax evasion, a cost to the public purse on a par with or greater than the cost of benefits to the sick and disabled.
    Frankly, I believe, the Government’s treatment of people on benefits, particularly the old, sick and disabled, borders on wickedness.

    • You say ” It is shameful that the Government does not exercise the same enthusiasm when tackling the problem of tax evasion, a cost to the public purse on a par with or greater than the cost of benefits to the sick and disabled.”
      Oh it is greater, tax avoidance and evasion is at least 200 times greater – but the people who perpetrate it are part of the club, OK people, rich…

      You make excellent points. The image of the fox hunt is all too real.

      Thanks for the main article, Scriptonite.

  10. Pingback: Atos Boss earns £44k a WEEK while Disabled Fight to Keep Just £131 | paultmillington

  11. Shocking when you realise that all the cuts only represent a saving of 1% in real terms as the money is just being shifted elswhere and that the rise in interest in the national debt means that by 2015 we will be spending the same amount as in the so called spend, spend era of labour!

  12. Forget the pay rise – the demonisation of disabled people as scroungers and frauds justifying the use of ATOS to remove them from the support systems they rely on is leading to the deaths of thousands of disabled people:
    THIS IS EUGENICS!

  13. The relevant point about Thierry Breton is that he was the boss of France Telecoms and in charge of its restructuring. He did not have time to implement it as he became the next France Finance Minister. His successor did, which lead to a wage of suicides among the staff, some on work premises. A huge file has been compiled about this.
    Last year, Breton’s successor was charged with moral harassment because of this. Breton escaped unscathed but everybody knows that he bears the moral responsibility for these suicides.

  14. Hi Kerry-Anne,

    This is a great article, very informative and exactly what the mainstream media should be publishing. I’ve shared it to my networks.

    Unfortunately, I do have to take exception with one element. That is: the racist depiction of Thierry Breton.
    Breton is a bad person not because he is French, but because he takes a lot of money from tax payers for the job of making disabled people destitute. I’m pretty sure he doesn’t wear a beret or carry onions around. To relate him to a frankly outdated stereotypical view of a Frenchman is not only racist, but it detracts from your argument (an argument that I happen to agree with strongly). It bears no relevance to any argument we may have against him, but instead relates his iniquities with an incorrect and two-dimensional view of a foreign nation. This bashes the French, not the rich nor the over-privileged.
    Plus, come on, look at it, are we still in the 70s? Isn’t the large part of our argument here directed against negative stereotyping (disabled, unemployed etc)?
    Personally, I recommend that you speak to Crippen about revising the work, or remove it and replace it with something that’s from the 21st Century.

  15. I’m going to contact Lynn Paine, one of the Directors of Atos. She is Senior Associate Dean of Harvard Business School. (see http://www.4-traders.com/ATOS-4612/news/ATOS-Annual-General-Shareholders-Meeting-16914965/)

    Objecting to Thierry Breton’s £280k pay rise is the wrong tact, in my opinion. The key issue is whether the Atos contract with the DWP is ethical.

    There is a factual error in the piece, “Atos Boss earns £44k a WEEK while Disabled Fight to Keep Just £131″—specifically this contention by the Scriptonite Daily blogger: “The government’s own statistics show that between 2010 and 2011 10,600 sick and disabled people died within six weeks of losing their benefits after being assessed as ‘fit to work’ by Atos and the DWP.”

    The letter below, dated October 4, 2012, from MP Tom Greatrex’s office clarifies the matter:

    Dear Samuel,

    Thanks for your email to Tom Greatrex MP.

    I have had a look at the statistics from the DWP, and asked the House of Commons Library for their assessment. I had initially thought that these figures showed that 10,600 had their claims ended and then died within 6 weeks. However, the Library advised that in the vast majority of cases people died and then their claim was ended within 6 weeks as a result of their deaths rather than the other way round.

    The wording of the DWP’s statistical release appears to be quite poor, which may have resulted in confusion. In any event, Tom has tabled some Written Parliamentary Questions on this issue to get a bit of clarity on this issue.

    Thanks for getting in touch.

    Regards,

    David

    David Ross

    Office of Tom Greatrex MP

    Rutherglen & Hamilton West| Shadow Energy Minister

    Room 4/13 | Norman Shaw South | House of Commons | London SW1A 0AA

    T: 0207 219 8974 |E: [email protected] | W: http://www.tomgreatrex.org

    Samuel Miller
    http://independent.academia.edu/SamuelMiller
    http://you.38degrees.org.uk/petitions/letter-to-the-icc-at-the-hague-re-mistreatment-of-the-disabled-and-sick
    http://mikesivier.wordpress.com//?s=Samuel+Miller&search=Go
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VnHBfW0_u5A&feature=youtu.be
    E-Mail: [email protected]
    Blog: Hephaestus: Disability Studies
    http://illnessandcivilization.blogspot.com/
    Blog: My Disability Studies Blackboard
    http://mydisabilitystudiesblackboard.blogspot.ca/2013/03/pushed-over-edge-by-benefits-fear.html
    Twitter: http://twitter.com/#!/Hephaestus7
    (Montreal, Canada)

  16. Pingback: Atos Boss earns £44k a WEEK while Disabled Fight to Keep Just £131 | Street Democracy - where it should reach

  17. Reblogged this on kickingtoryassonwelfare and commented:
    This kind of speaks for itself, really . . . Laurie and I will be posting a news round up blog post featuring this and many more examples of DWP and Atos fuckwittery, horror and sheer banal evil; but with some cautious good news too. Still, this is obscene; I feel like that’s something I’m always saying, but I’ll never stop saying it till the obscenity stops. As always, love and solidarity.

  18. I must take issue with this article – not as a whole, just one word in the headline: ‘Earns’.

    Atos boss EARNS £44k a week? Atos boss TAKES £44k a week! Atos boss IS PAID £44k a week!

    But ‘earns’? No, I don’t think so.

    Keep up the good work.

  19. When the government control the media the only way to get our message out there is by social networking. By the disbanding of legal aid, privatisation of the NHS and the general disbanding of the welfare state, welcome back to the dark ages. The thing that makes me smile is the success of taking benefits off disabled people will eventually lead to the DWP becoming part of the jobless and suffering the same consequence we are all suffering. Just hope we all live long enough to enjoy their predicament

  20. Pingback: Atos Boss earns £44k a WEEK while Disable...

  21. Unfortunately, it’s very much the same here in the US. CEOs of major companies make more in an hour than most people make in a year! And those are hard working people. God knows how the disabled manage! Currently it is nearly impossible to even receive disability payments, and those that currently receive them have had them cut. Any one on a fixed income these days may as well suicide for all the help they receive. Sometimes I am ashamed to share the same world with some people (particularly our GOP).

  22. If anyone wonders why they are continiously coming under the gaze of atos medicals…the company has to for fill their quota some how….shame the rules do not prevent this number crunching abuse!

  23. I have said. publicly , on radio,in 2009 that this governemtm aims to kill disabled people in a modified nazzi “cleansing” campaign. , as has been correctly pointed out, this has been quietly gainimg momentum from around 1998, so that puts the government , regardless of its stripes. in the camp of, willfull mass murder. but they used the rather clever tactic of brainwashing the public into beleiveing people claiming desability benefits where either, crougers, fraudsters or both.. all of which is a total tissue of lies to feather the nests of a small welthy elite!

  24. but nothing change if ed gets in he will carry on with it which leaves us in the cold but were are the true labour not the tony blairs who seem every were theres got to be some left ,but atos is killing more of us daily even those in the house now by now butt they are to rich to do anything about this has its essier to kick those on benefits than take it off their mates who could afford to lose a few bob ,yep when the torys got in through that back door it seemd to htem ha sif the price was right to kick us jeff3

  25. The Atos system has never been about saving money or balancing books. It’s a cull, and a very profitable one. I and others have said it many times but no-one really believes that to be the case. I wonder why ? Successful Propaganda ? National Apathy ?

    The Government are making a mint because murder is big business, see the war machine.

    So while the elite eugenicists, the ruling class and big business go about their survival -of-the-fittest butchering of the British disabled community, 99.9% of people are clueless.
    Uh-huh.

    I’m disabled ( a useless eater ?) and have to deal with the DWP and Atos, due to being a burden and a benefit scrounger and also live in social supported housing and have been in the system long enough to see it ripped apart, remodeled as a weapon and set loose on myself and others.

      • the council who’s link i am posting with this reply is my council, whom i pay rent to, and have been in credit far more than i have been in debt with.
        last week, during a 35 minute phone call a few things were pointed out to me regarding policy with the council. a bit of background first,, anyone in genuine hardship should apply for a DHP to help with the increase. apparently, its designed to help with disabled, poor people, and those on very low incomes. we have a DLA payment coming into the house and a carer payment also. we have one spare room, and a room which measures 62.1 feet in total. our council has increased our rent with an anual increase of around £5 and also with a 25% reduction in benefit for 2 spare rooms. we were told by the council to apply for a DHP. we had to fill in an incomings and outgoings form to show how much we had and how much we spent. we sent it back and waited. a few weeks later we got a letter saying because we were in arrears with the rent, they would be taking the garage back. (we keep our disabled transport in there). i contacted them and pointed out that we had sent in a form for DHP and they could not do anything to us until that had been dealt with (their rules). that was sorted and we were told that everything was to go on as it already was, ie:-we continue paying the rent without the bedroom tax increase. a few weeks later they sent us a letter. it was giving notice of seeking possession. i contacted again and spoke to a woman who proceeded to tell me it was because they had not received the water rates for the property. this was a simple mispayment on another payment card on the same day and they rectified it there and then. however, the notice seeking possession would go ahead unless the arrears were paid. we got to talking more in general this time, and she told me a few things i didnt know. first,, when you have a non paying child living at home, you can give them pocket money and its taken into account when assessing the forms. second,, they allow £35 per week per head for food on the said assessment, any more than that and you should be shopping elsewhere. third with our gas and electric, we spend too much with £25 to the electricity company and £15 per week to the gas company,,, oh,, and we should change our suppliers!!
        FINALLY,, AND THIS IS THE BIGGIE,,, the WELFARE REFORM TEAM at the council offices have told the COUNCIL EMPLOYEES to VET the forms when they receive them,, and IF ANY OF THE FORMS SHOW PAYMENTS OF DLA THEY MUST BE REFUSED AUTOMATICALLY! this is because, for the purposes of DHP’s, DLA IS CLASSED AS AN EXTRA INCOME!
        NOW, correct me if i am wrong,, but DLA is normally classed as a “NOT COUNTED BENEFIT”? but for the purposes of DHP’s, suddenly its a full blown income and any income received while on benefits is deducted from those benefits, which by default would mean that applying for DLA in the first place would be a no no!
        it seems that as time goes on and more and more info comes out, the bedroom tax is deliberatly aimed at the disabled,, its almost as if they resent us, look down on us, maybe even wished we didnt exist. cant help wondering exactly whats been written into law now,, is DLA redefined as an income?if tis is the case, when can we expect to see our base benefits reduce because of it? is anyone going to tell us its been reclassified as an income??
        desperatly confused here.
        i wouldnt mind but DHP’s are only paid for between 8 and 12 weeks then they stop… i see no point in that. and in another story by the mirror, a woman has just been granted DHP for a year,,, whats going on? why are there so many conflicting bits of info out there?
        oh, and my council is the very same council who were at the centre of the STEPHANIE BOTTRILL case,, she lived about half a mile from me.
        according to whoever i spoke to, it wasnt just the bedroom tax that resulted in stephanies suicide,,,, apparently, there were other underlying issues with the case,, but she wouldnt say what they were of course.

        http://www.solihullcommunityhousing.org.uk/

        • FINALLY,, AND THIS IS THE BIGGIE,,, the WELFARE REFORM TEAM at the council offices have told the COUNCIL EMPLOYEES to VET the forms when they receive them,, and IF ANY OF THE FORMS SHOW PAYMENTS OF DLA THEY MUST BE REFUSED AUTOMATICALLY

          Hello there
          I would fully go along with the above statement. I wont go into all the details it would take too long. I applied for the discretionary payment for the bedroom tax, as occasionally I need someone to stay with me. I have mobility problems and quite a few degenerative deceases,COPD Emphysema, Arthritis in the spine throughout my body etc, heart problems, far too many to list here. Anyway they refused said I was not entitled to it.

          I live in a damp infested two bed ground floor flat, I live alone. Two years ago the Social Services dumped two of my grandchildren on me. I wasn’t really well enough to look after them but I did my best, my 14 year old granddaughter helped and her 10 year old brother tried. After three weeks the Social Services allowed the girl to go back home, their logic being she was old enough and could look after herself. Although she still comes and stays with me regularly. My grandson was not allowed back home. Their mother through a series of bad relationships ended up with a violent partner and in hospital with mental issues.My grandson stayed with me for 16 months, I got practically no help from the Social Services. Eventually he moved in with his father, who he had not seen since he was a baby. That was just before Christmas. Now something happened I don’t know what and I don’t want to know it’s nothing to do with me, I only know he hasn’t harmed my grandson. My grandson came to visit one weekend as he always does, sometimes he stayed for the weekend depending on my health he loves his granddad.
          One Saturday at the beginning of March this year he turned up, he hadn’t been here 20 minutes when the phone rang, the Social Services they told me to keep him here, on no account was he to go home, I explained about his school uniform etc,they would be needed for Monday morning. I ended up buying out of my disability payment, pants, shirts, socks and shoes again, already done this for them both last time. Now then, I rang the housing and sent them an email telling them that my grandson was staying with me and the empty bedroom was being used full time. They sent round their snoops, I showed them letters from Bolton Council Social Services, the bedroom, my grandson, who was obviously staying here, the Social Services told the housing dept he was here, I said I didn’t think I should be paying the bedroom tax. Then I got a letter from the housing dept to tell me, I was £51.00 in rent arrears, I have never been in rent arrears the 13 years I have lived here. Even though I have been on disability benefits for the last six years I still have to pay towards the rent.
          The reason the housing gave for the non discretionary payment was. Because there wasn’t a residential order for my grandson. My grandson is obviously invisible,doesn’t eat and doesn’t need anywhere to sleep. I tried to explain that this money was being spent on my grandson. I think the poor lad has been through enough in his young life and these heartless BASTARDS don’t give a shit. AND now I can’t get rid of their SNOOPS. I would also add because of all this grief and pressure not least the money worries my health has deteriorated.

          Good Luck and Fight On Friend.

          • register your grandson with the people who run your council tax benefit. they will confirm what you tell them and he is officially registered as living with you. then go back to the housing and tell them that proof of his status as living in the property is lodged with council tax benefit office and if the housing then refuse to acknowledge he lives there, threaten them with legal action from your solicitor. the council tax people insist on knowing about the all the people living at an address, and i really mean, they want to know whats up megs backside and everything else too.
            its still a bit much though that whoever we are, if we get DLA we dont qualify for DHP’s. i still think that in law its got to be some kind of discrimination to penalise someone for having DLA. wish i could afford a solicitor.

            all the best,,
            steve

            • Thanks Steve, unfortunately about three weeks ago my health had deteriorated so much I could no longer look after my grandson and he went to stay with his fathers parents. They are older than me but in much better health. What I have trouble understanding is, the Social Services didn’t want him there originally ,they were quite happy to dump him on me even though they knew I was in really bad health. The first time it happened a couple of years ago I don’t think I saw the Social Services more than six times in the sixteen months my grandson was here. To my credit I know he was taken off the at risk register while he was here. I only wish I was in better health, I would have had him here full time and I know he misses me. It just goes to show though, the authorities don’t give a shit. I think there’s a lot of truth in your last sentence.
              I wish I could afford a Solicitor also
              Good Luck Keep on Truckin

              Andrew

  26. “In 2011-12, the DWP paid Atos £112.4m to put 738,000 people through work capability assessments.”

    So that means the government spent £152 per assessment in order to save a possible £130 per assessed claimant ….now I’m not an accountant or anything but surely that would mean that it is impossible to make any saving what so ever!

  27. Pingback: Atos Boss earns £44k a WEEK while Disabled Fight to Keep Just £131 | musings from outside the asylum

  28. We all know these issues , the total inequality and unfairness BUT nothing has changed , we are still where Labour left us. We are still losing money , still trying to get some solace with our Government who just does not care. Who are we trying to kid by our non confrontational approach to our resistance movement…….would be better to block motorway system for recognition

    • Steve, I agree. Non confrontational approaches don’t work. The whole point of civil disobedience is to apply ultimate pressure to the government by disrupting ‘stuff getting done’. Be that roads, public transport, strikes, however you can disrupt, we need to. DPAC have done some great work on this, but they need all of our support. The reality is, while the only people brave and compassionate enough to make a stand are not only not joined by the majority, but actively undermined and opposed as trouble makers, all of us suffer.
      Active, determined, non violent civil disobedience must for part of our resistance. Those who argue it doesn’t live in a world of fantasy, where the government is actually acting in our interests and wants to help, if we only let them know nicely. That’s not the world we’re living in.

Leave a Reply