By Sarah Hemmingway, Chair Hull PAAA.
Following the hugely successful multiple peaceful demonstrations held outside ATOS assessment centres on the 19th Feb another peaceful demo will be held on 1st April 2014 to highlight the continuing immoral treatment of sick and disabled people.
This demo is to also highlight the sanctions that are being wrongfully handed out which causes unnecessary distress and money being stopped.
The following is link address to event on facebook:-
We are pleased that ATOS are seeking an early exit from the contract to carry out work capability assessments, however we are upset that many campaigners and victims of ATOS have been smeared with allegations of intimidation. Almost all our major demonstrations were streamed live in February and clips of all of these moments of resistance are available online and show no threatening or intimidating behaviour. This can also be confirmed by the police and union leaders who were in attendance. We will continue to protest until the work capability assessment is carried out by fully qualified doctors who have no targets to cut peoples benefits. We will continue to protest until the victims of ATOS, the DWP and Iain Duncan Smith receive justice and the wrong doings of the individuals involved is acknowledged and addressed.
The DWPs data show 10,600 deaths in 11 months and requests for information via the Freedom of Information Act 2000 have been met with refusal, due to, they say, requests being vexatious. On Thursday 27 February, MPs took part in a debate on a motion relating to the effects of welfare reform on sick and disabled people. This debate was scheduled by the Backbench Business Committee following representations from John McDonnell and Grahame M. Morris. The Motion, approved unanimously, was the following:-
“That this House calls on the Government to commission an independent cumulative assessment of the impact of changes in the welfare system on sick and disabled people, their families and carers, drawing upon the expertise of the Work and Pensions Select Committee; requests that this impact assessment examine care home admissions, access to day care centres, access to education for people with learning difficulties, provision of universal mental health treatments, closures of Remploy factories, the Government’s contract with Atos Healthcare, IT implementation of universal credit, human rights abuses against disabled people, excess deaths of welfare claimants and the disregard of medical evidence in decision- making by Atos, the Department for Work and Pensions and the Tribunals Service; urges the Secretary of State for Health and the Secretary of State for Education jointly to launch a consultation on improving support into work for sick and disabled people; and further calls on the Government to end with immediate effect the work capability assessment, as voted for by the British Medical Association, to discontinue forced work under the threat of sanctions for people on disability benefits and to bring forward legislative proposals to allow a free vote on repeal of the Welfare Reform Act 2012.”
For further information please contact PAAA Chair Sarah Hemmingway on 07849976454