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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.
The Government is inviting the public to submit petitions. Search epetitions.direct.gov.uk for "DWP" or "Atos" or "disabled" to list relevant petitions including Stop and review the cuts to benefits and services which are falling disproportionately on disabled people, their carers and families (http://epetitions.direct.gov.uk/petitions/20968).
Other ongoing petitions are Petition against constant vilification of sick and disabled claimants and Petition to "Sack Atos Immediately" .
The DWP occasionally consults the public http://www.dwp.gov.uk/consultations/.
The DWP and Atos find patients capable either of work or capable of work related activities. Patients are handed over to the mercies of companies like A4E who received very lucrative bonuses for dubious employment positions. In December 2010 A4E received £12,065,047 from the DWP. In March 2011 A4E received £13,205,038 from the DWP. See DWP payments to suppliers.
Unemployment benefits has never been, is not and never will be a lifestyle choice. The value of benefits is so small compared to the average remuneration that the privation and hardships of living on benefits for extended periods drives many to seek solace through substances that reduce the anxiety however briefly and however costly to health.
In times of recession and/or depression remuneration is relentlessly driven down. As labour costs fall company profits rise. Company owners become richer. Company owners could invest and hire more staff but with customers having less money to spend the owners are disinclined and more risk adverse. The result is company owners sit on large cash reserves waiting for better times. It is the accepted prudent approach.
Governments can provide employment creation subsidies and incentives. Governments like to boast blah hundred jobs have been created but fail to announce that these new jobs are far less than were lost previously.
The cumulative result is that unemployment increases.
An ethical question arises:
Does society as a community have a responsibility to all the members of the community?
A simple utilitarian approach suggests those without paid employment should be left to fend for themselves as best they can.
An extended utilitarian approach suggests those without paid employment should be provided with a minimum consistent with an acceptable level of disorder and lawlessness. This approach accepts a certain level of privation and hardship will be experienced by those without paid employment but this level is low enough to inhibit rioting and disorder.
A Kantian approach suggests that there is a duty in the way others should be treated for the rational reason that anyone may be subject to an adverse change in fortune.
The extended utilitarian approach is one that appears to comply with the situation in England from the Middle Ages to the present; poor relief, alms houses, work houses, unemployment benefit, work fare, job seekers et al.
In March 2012 the value of the unemployment benefit is less than half minimum wage. It is restricted in duration. It is extremely difficult to get by on the minimum wage. Soup kitchens and charity food parcels are needed to keep many from hunger.
Many world leaders are proud to claim their allegiance to one religion or another. It does not seem to trouble these world leaders whether religion is rational or not.
Most religions doctrine, relating to work, conform to a simple utilitarian approach which is those without paid employment should be left to fend for themselves.
King James bible
Paul from Corinth, Greece, about 50 CE wrote letters to the Christian community he had founded in Macedonia. These letters are published in the "Thessalonians" chapters of most of the Christian bibles and the many revised versions.
The following "Don't work don't eat" are extracts from the King James bible variant.
Thessalonians 3:10 For even when we were with you, this we commanded you, that if any would not work, neither should he eat. Proverbs 6:6 Go to the ant, thou sluggard; consider her ways, and be wise: 6:7 which having no guide, overseer, or ruler, 6:8 provideth her meat in the summer, and gathereth her food in the harvest. 6:9 How long wilt thou sleep, O sluggard? When wilt thou arise out of thy sleep? 6:10 Yet a little sleep, a little slumber, a little folding of the hands to sleep: 6:11 so shall thy poverty come as one that traveleth, and thy want as an armed man 10:4 He becometh poor that dealeth with a slack hand but the hand of the diligent maketh rich. 24:30 I went by the field of the slothful, and by the vineyard of the man void of understanding; 24:31 and, lo, it was all grown over with thorns, and nettles had covered the face thereof, and the stone wall thereof was broken down.
As an atheist I can appreciate the beauty of the language in the books from this time without the prison of the narrow view enforced by religion. It is a pity that the most common factor of religions is a desire to suppress education and knowledge. Just think what mankind could have achieved by now if the Greek philosophical schools had been allowed to flourish and independent thought took hold.
Of course many of these proverbs reflect the doctrines of older cultures such as those of the BCE Kingdoms of Egypt and elsewhere. As an example Akenaten's Hymn to Aten was rewritten hundred of years later and appears as Psalm 104.
Some misguided used to believe that sickness and disability were punishments from deities. This beggars belief that such foolishness ever existed.
The DWP hands the claimant to an employment company who trains and finds the claimant employment. The employment company receives a bonus.
The claimant has to work for a period with no pay or just expenses to prove that the claimant is a reliable employee. The claimant is retained for the period the employment company needs to receive the bonus. The claimant is dismissed: "The Chop".
Permanent staff numbers are reduced and their salary costs are reduced.
Drivers who previously were directly employed are now hired through sub-contractors. Sub-contractors have relationships with the DWP chosen employment companies.