Press Articles from 2012


Press articles that are critical of the DWP, ESA and Atos medical assessments.

This page is published in the public domain and is uncopyrighted. Feel free to copy. See Copyleft (

This website provides information on how Atos runs its business, extracts from the Contract between the DWP and Atos including the MEDICAL CONDITIONS that mean a face to face medical assessment is not always necessary, ASSESSMENTS AND POINTS, the breaches of Contract that occurred in my case, my unsound medical report and the correspondence showing how difficult it is to obtain justice or advice.

Press Articles from 2012

Articles and Dates

You can click on a date to link to the item on this page.

Press 201217 JanuaryWelfare reform bill: disability benefit cuts.Guardian
 18 JanuaryI left the Conservative party over its attacks on disabled people.Guardian
 5 FebruaryBenefit cuts are fuelling abuse of disabled people, say charities.Guardian
 16 FebruaryDisabled people face unlimited unpaid work or cuts in benefit.Guardian
 28 FebruaryNHS bill: goodbye comprehensive healthcare, hello private insurance.Guardian
 8 MarchThe Liberal Democrats have nothing to apologise for.Guardian
 12 MarchBritain's shadow government: unelected, unbalanced and unaccountable.Guardian
 15 MarchThird of incapacity benefit claimants ruled fit to work.Guardian
 19 MarchSickness benefit: 'They try their damnedest to avoid paying'.Guardian
 1 MayHow can it be right to profit from disability?Guardian

Press Articles in 2012

17 January 2012 - "Welfare reform bill: disability benefit cuts - Lords discussion'"

House of Lords debates controversial cuts to disability living allowance payments

Patrick Butler, The Guardian, 17 January 2012.

18 January 2012 - "I left the Conservative party over its attacks on disabled people"

Plans to replace disability living allowance amount to an assault on disabled people's independence and equality

Having been a member of the Conservative party since 1992 and a councillor from 2006, I decided to relinquish both of those positions in 2011. A big decision but one that I decided to make because of the government's endless attacks on disabled people and their right to independence and full equality.

Ollie Flitcroft, The Guardian, 17 January 2012.

5 February 2012 - Benefit cuts are fuelling abuse of disabled people, say charities

Rising public resentment blamed on government focus on alleged 'scrounger' fraud and inflammatory media coverage

The government's focus on alleged fraud and overclaiming to justify cuts in disability benefits has caused an increase in resentment and abuse directed at disabled people, as they find themselves being labelled as scroungers, six of the country's biggest disability groups have warned.

Peter Walker, The Guardian, 5 February 2012.

16 February 2012 - Disabled people face unlimited unpaid work or cuts in benefit

Mental health groups and charities attack plans drawn up by Department for Work and Pensions

Some long-term sick and disabled people face being forced to work unpaid for an unlimited amount of time or have their benefits cut under plans being drawn up by the Department for Work and Pensions.

Mental health professionals and charities have said they fear those deemed fit to undertake limited amounts of work under a controversial assessment process could suffer further harm to their health if the plans go ahead.

Shiv Malik, The Guardian, 16 February 2012.

28 February 2012 - NHS bill: goodbye comprehensive healthcare, hello private insurance

Services are already being pulled in an unannounced, piecemeal way. If the bill passes, the health secretary won't be accountable

Andrew Lansley and his colleagues assure us that under their plans to privatise the NHS, "services will still be free at the point of use". But they fail to add a key proviso: provided the services are still available. In reality, a growing list of services won't be available, and so won't be free.

Of course, some services that the NHS originally provided, such as long-term care for frail older people, have long been officially withdrawn; and others, like prescriptions and dentistry, are still provided but subject to charges. Under the health and social care bill there will be further contraction of what is provided free on the NHS. Local clinical commissioning groups, not the secretary of state, will decide what services it is "reasonable" to provide out of the budgets they are given, and the package will gradually contract.

This process has already begun under the pressure of the so-called productivity savings recommended by McKinsey. NHS services are being withdrawn in an unannounced, piecemeal and unaccountable way.

Colin Leys, The Guardian, 28 February 2012.

8 March 2012 - The Liberal Democrats have nothing to apologise for

Lib Dems have decency in our DNA. From the NHS to Trident, our presence in the coalition has stymied the Tories

...As a party in government we've fought like tigers to win tax cuts for the poor, to protect our NHS, to green our economy, to kick Trident into the long grass, to remain at the heart of Europe and to reform our democracy...

...just look to the health bill. With 140 amendments, most of which came from the Lib Dems, it is no longer the bill Lansley dreamed of...

...I'm not going to pretend that the bill is perfect, it isn't...

Tim Farron, The Guardian, 8 March 2012.

12 March 2012 - Britain's shadow government: unelected, unbalanced and unaccountable

Democracy itself is being undermined by publicly funded agencies crawling with conflicts of interest and devoid of scrutiny

...Blair and Brown began the abuses that the coalition government is refining: purging countervailing voices from public bodies and stuffing them with the representatives of business...

...I'll begin with the government's "reform" of the National Health Service. The body charged with breaking an integrated, co-ordinated system into warring kingdoms whose commercial interests discourage collaboration is called Monitor. Its role will be to enforce competition, ensuring that "any qualified provider" can enter the NHS...

...The current government has made two new appointments to Monitor's board, including the chair, who is also the body's chief executive. Both were previously senior partners at the consultancy company McKinsey. Of the six members of Monitor's senior management team, two previously worked for McKinsey (including the chief executive) and two at a similar company, KPMG...

...board members and executives at Monitor have been lavishly entertained by McKinsey, which, like KPMG, is picking up fat contracts from NHS reforms...

...Both McKinsey and KPMG have been major beneficiaries of previous privatisations or private finance schemes...

George Monbiot, The Guardian, 12 March 2012.

15 March 2012 - Third of incapacity benefit claimants ruled fit to work

Government claims figure vindicates policy - while charities say it is unfit for purpose and will cost millions in appeals

More than a third of people who were claiming the old incapacity benefit have been told they are ineligible for the new benefit, employment and support allowance – a figure hailed by the government as justification for the decision to reassess all claimants, and by campaigners as evidence that the new system is unreasonably harsh.

...Around 38% of all tribunal appeals are overturned in the claimant's favour, and the benefit is subsequently granted. If a claimant is supported in their appeal by someone from a welfare rights group, such as Citizens Advice, there is a much higher success rate for appeals, around 68%...

Amelia Gentleman, The Guardian, 15 March 2012.

19 March 2012 - Sickness benefit: 'They try their damnedest to avoid paying'

A computer questionnaire now helps determine who is fit for work and who is eligible for benefits. But it is causing misery, with thousands of unwell people locked in a chaotic system of appeals

How sick or disabled do you need to be to qualify for state support? Is it enough to be blind or do you also need to be deaf? Is it enough to have been so seriously injured in a car accident that you can no longer walk without extreme pain, or do you have to be bed-bound?

...Atos has also been blamed for the high level of inaccuracies in the decisions, accused by one MP of "disastrous delivery" of the tests. Protesters have repeatedly mounted demonstrations outside their London offices, waving banners that declare "Atos doesn't give a toss" and "Atos kills!" – a reference to the small but growing number of claimants who have killed themselves after finding that their benefits have been removed. In a select committee report last year, MPs questioned whether as "a private company, you are driven by a profit motive", incentivised "to get the assessments done, but not necessarily to get the assessments right"...

Amelia Gentleman, The Guardian, 19 March 2012.

1 May 2012 - How can it be right to profit from disability?

Disability living allowance is being replaced with personal independence payment assessments, and private companies are queueing up to cash in

The Department for Work and Pensions has just announced the 10 private companies on the shortlist to deliver the personal independence payment (PIP) assessments...

...Take Atos, for example, the French multinational, responsible for handling the deeply flawed work capability assessments. Despite huge levels of criticism from individuals and charities that the test is not "fit for purpose", widespread inaccuracies in the assessment process (40% of appeals against Atos decisions are successful), and extensive anecdotal reports of farcical levels of incompetence on the part of the assessors, the DWP has shortlisted Atos for the contract to deliver PIP assessments in every available region.

And then there's the outsourcing giant, Serco, excluded from the Norwegian government's investment portfolio because of its involvement in nuclear arms. Serco is shortlisted by the British government to provide "independent" assessments of disabled people. This is a new avenue for Serco, which has thus far made money from, among other things, detention centres (Yarl's Wood, for example, where there has been outrage over the treatment of children) and prisons...

Clare Allan, The Guardian, 1 May 2012.