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David Cameron: #ATOS Decision Making Must Improve

October 16, 2013

David Cameron has said the company that carries out “fitness-for-work” tests on disabled benefits claimants has to improve its decision-making.

But he rejected an angry call by Labour MP Dennis Skinner, at Prime Minister’s Questions, to “get rid of” Atos.

The Bolsover MP dubbed Atos a “cruel, heartless monster”, referring to a constituent with cancer who had to wait 11 months for an appeal.

The man, a “butcher and farmer in Bolsover”, had now died, he told MPs.

The veteran Labour MP, his face red with anger, told Mr Cameron: “Isn’t it time we put an end to this system, where people that are really suffering should not be allowed an appeal, having to live on £70 a week? Him and his widow.

“Two things the prime minister should do: One, with immediate effect, make an ex-gratia payment to his widow to cover the suffering and pain and lost income

“And secondly abolish this cruel, heartless monster called Atos – get rid of it.”

‘Unacceptable’

Mr Cameron promised to look into the “desperately sad case” raised by Mr Skinner, adding: “Everyone who has constituency surgeries and talks to constituents knows that we have to improve the quality of decision-making about this issue.”

But he added: “I think it is important that we carry out proper assessments of whether people are qualified for benefits or are not qualified for benefits.”

He said Labour had “started to look at work capabilities” when they were in power.

Labour has said it would keep fitness for work tests if it wins the next general election, but has suggested it would sack Atos, saying it gets too many tests wrong and delivers poor value for money.

The French IT firm is paid by the government to carry out “work capability assessments” for people applying for the sickness benefit employment and support allowance, as well as people who were previously on incapacity benefit.

It was told to improve its services by MPs in July after an “unacceptable reduction” in the quality of its written reports.

A government audit, which analysed 400 reports, followed concerns being raised over the firm’s services.

The company responded by saying it provides a “professional and compassionate” service.

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4 Comments leave one →
  1. October 16, 2013 11:08 pm

    the main problem with these deaths is the way ATOS keep repeating The company responded by saying it provides a “professional and compassionate” service.
    which is utter rubbish

  2. sharon permalink
    October 17, 2013 10:04 am

    Call an election now you evil scum so many people are dead or starving because of your propaganda

    • October 17, 2013 10:21 am

      he cant call an election while these deaths are ongoing as the focus would be not in his favour

      once he’s removed as a mp and labour are in power then an investigation in to ATOS/DWP could take place under law in the same way Hillsbourgh got justice to some extent

      it did not happen while Mrs thatcher was the prime minister you have to wait for the next government to come along and then and only then with public support you can then bring criminal charges against ATOS/DWP for the criminal negligence for the deaths of many thousands of sick and disabled people

  3. sharon permalink
    October 18, 2013 9:35 am

    It is so disgraceful he should be put before a judge for his heinous attitude let the world know what he is really doing. ACCOUNTABLE THATS WHAT HE SHOULD BE

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