|The real face of Neoliberalism|
UK welfare reform fails and leads to deaths…Neo-liberalist policy in action: And it is fatal for the sick and disabled in the UK, Is this State murder? Can the State be put on trial? Is this happening in New Zealand? The NZ government has been systematically down grading our benefit systems and are considering tendering out parts of its services to SERCO. In the individual information recorded below you will notice the term Atos used this refers to the contract issued to that company to run key aspects of the assistance to those on benefits, The failure of the system was so bad that they had to be tossed out: This from Wikipedia:
In the United Kingdom, from 1998 - 2015 Atos Healthcare was at the centre of a controversy over the management of contracts by their healthcare division of the Work Capability Assessment for the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP). The DWP negotiated an early exit from the WCA contract with Atos after raising concerns about the quality of its work.
Main article: Work Capability Assessment
The involvement of Atos in government benefit contracts dates back to 1998. A good deal of the criticism from claimants was directed at the way Atos staff dealt with them personally, on a human level. The Welfare Reform Act 2007 introduced Work Capability Assessments (WCAs) to determine who should receive Employment and Support Allowance (ESA). Decisions were taken by officials at the DWP using evidence from the assessments, carried out by the Atos subsidiary Atos Healthcare. Following the implementation of the Welfare Reform Act 2012 ESA claimants were subject to rigorous WCAs to determine their level of disability and ability to work. Atos received extensive allegations of severe distress and also widespread deaths amongst those assessed. MPs, the clergy and leading charities demanded the assessment be withdrawn. Controversy arose from assessments that indicated that, among others, a man in a coma, people with multiple sclerosis, terminal cancer, and serious mental illnesses, and a brain-damaged amputee unable to walk and with difficulty speaking were all fit to work and thus ineligible for disability benefits. According to the Financial Times, Atos staff received death threats as a result.
On 21 February 2014, Atos confirmed that it was seeking an early exit from its £500 million WCA contract with the DWP. Its departure was announced in March 2014 with a replacement contractor to be appointed in early 2015. Facing questioning by the Commons Work and Pensions Committee, Atos senior vice president Lisa Coleman conceded an inability to make a sufficient profit was a factor in the firm's decision to withdraw from the contract, for which it has had to pay compensation.
Atos was also awarded a contract in 2013 to carry out tests for the new Personal Independence Payment (PIP) for disabled people, with the aim of reducing the projected cost of the benefit by 20 per cent by 2015-16. PIP replaces the Disability Living Allowance and determines whether people are entitled to extra money to help cope with disability – such as cars, equipment or nursing. Atos's £400m PIP contracts over five years cover the southeast and north of the UK, accounting for about 75 per cent of disability living allowance claimants. Capita, a rival outsourcing company, has the remainder. However, in response to a freedom of information request, in 2015 the DWP revealed that those claimants tested by Atos Healthcare were likely to face a five times longer delay in assessments than by Capita.
In early 2014 Atos was awarded the contract for the care.data General Practice Extraction Service (GPES) program run by the Health and Social Care Information Centre (HSCIC).
It was disclosed in November 2013 through the National Audit Office that Atos paid no Corporation Tax at all in the UK in 2012.The total value of contracts that had been awarded to Atos by June 2013 was approximately £1.6bn.
Below are just some of the failures of the Blair and Conservative governments Neo-liberial experiments, we in NZ are now going down the same failure path...
UK Welfare Reform Deaths ~ Updated List ~ October 21st 2014
Updated tragic list of welfare-related deaths of UK’s sick and/or disabled
people. This is the tip on the iceberg:
They shall be remembered forevermore.
Avenge the dead. Resuscitate the living. We must fight on for freedom from
Westminster’s murderous policies and support the struggle of all Britain’s
sick and/or disabled people simultaneously. Saor Alba.
Terry McGarvey, 48. Dangerously ill from polycytheamia, Terry asked for an
ambulance to be called during his Work Capability Assessment. He knew that
he wasn’t well enough to attend his WCA but feared that his benefits would
be stopped if he did not. He died the following day.
Elaine Lowe, 53. Suffering from COPD and fearful of losing her benefits. In
desperation, Elaine chose to commit suicide.
Mark Wood, 44. Found fit for work by Atos, against his Doctors advice and
assertions that he had complex mental health problems. Starved to death
after benefits stopped, weighing only 5st 8lb when he died.
Paul Reekie, 48, the Leith based Poet and Author. Suffered from severe
depression. Committed suicide after DWP stopped his benefits due to an Atos
‘fit for work’ decision.
Leanne Chambers, 30. Suffered depression for many years which took a turn
for the worst when she was called in for a WCA. Leanne committed suicide
Karen Sherlock, 44. Multiple health issues. Found fit for work by Atos and
denied benefits. Fought a long battle to get placed into the support group
of ESA. Karen died the following month of a heart attack.
Carl Payne, 42. Fears of losing his lifeline benefits due to welfare
reform led this Father of two to take his own life.
Tim Salter, 53. Blind and suffering from Agoraphobia. Tim hanged himself
after Atos found him fit for work and stopped his benefits.
Edward Jacques, 47 years old and suffering from HIV and Hepatitis C. Edward
had a history of severe depression and self-harm. He took a fatal overdose
after Atos found him fit for work and stopped his benefits.
Linda Wootton, 49 years old. A double heart and lung transplant patient.
Died just nine days after the government found her fit for work, their
refusal letter arriving as she lay desperately ill in her hospital bed.
Steven Cawthra, 55. His benefits stopped by the DWP and with rising debts,
he saw suicide as the only way out of a desperate situation.
Elenore Tatton, 39 years old. Died just weeks after the government found her
fit for work.
John Walker, 57, saddled with debt because of the bedroom tax, John took his
Brian McArdle, 57 years old. Suffered a fatal heart attack the day after his
disability benefits were stopped.
Stephen Hill, 53. Died of a heart attack one month after being found fit for
work, even though he was waiting for major heart surgery.
Jacqueline Harris, 53. A former Nurse who could hardly walk was found fit
for work by Atos and her benefits withdrawn. in desperation, she took her
David Barr, 28. Suffering from severe mental difficulties. Threw himself
from a bridge after being found fit for work by Atos and failing his appeal.
David Groves, 56. Died of a heart attack the night before taking his work
capability assessment. His widow claimed that it was the stress that killed
Nicholas Peter Barker, 51. Shot himself after being told his benefits were
being stopped. He was unable to work after a brain haemorrhage left him
paralysed down one side.
Mark and Helen Mullins, 48 and 59 years old. Forced to live on £57.50 a week
and make 12 mile trips each week to get free vegetables to make soup. Mark
and Helen both committed suicide.
Richard Sanderson, 44. Unable to find a job and with his housing benefit cut
forcing him to move, but with nowhere to go. Richard committed suicide.
Martin Rust, 36 years old. A schizophrenic man who killed himself two months
after the government found him fit to work.
Craig Monk, 43. A vulnerable gentleman and a partial amputee who slipped so
far into poverty that he hanged himself.
Colin Traynor, 29, and suffering from epilepsy was stripped of his benefits.
He appealed. Five weeks after his death his family found he had won his
Elaine Christian, 57 years old. Worried about her work capability
assessment, she was subsequently found at Holderness drain, drowned and with
ten self inflicted wrist wounds.
Christelle and Kayjah Pardoe, 32 years and 5 month old. Pregnant, her
benefits stopped, Christelle, clutching her baby son jumped from a third
Mark Scott, 46. His DLA and housing benefit stopped and sinking into deep
depression, Mark died six weeks later.
Cecilia Burns, 51. Found fit for work while undergoing treatment for breast
cancer. She died just a few weeks after she won her appeal against the Atos
Chris Cann, 57 years old. Found dead in his home just months after being
told he had to undergo a medical assessment to prove he could not work.
Peter Hodgson, 49. Called to JCP to see if he was suitable for volunteer
work. Peter had suffered a stroke, a brain haemorrhage and had a fused leg.
His appointment letter arrived a few days after he took his own life.
Paul Willcoxsin, 33 years old. Suffered with mental health problems and
worried about government cuts. Paul committed suicide by hanging himself.
Stephanie Bottrill, 53. After paying £80 a month for bedroom tax, Stephanie
could not afford heating in the winter, and lived on tinned custard. In
desperation, she chose to walk in front of a lorry.
Larry Newman suffered from a degenerative lung condition, his weight
dropping from 10 to 7 stone. Atos awarded him zero points, he died just
three months after submitting his appeal.
Paul Turner, 52 years old. After suffering a heart attack, he was ordered to
find a job in February. In April Paul died from ischaemic heart disease.
Christopher Charles Harkness, 39. After finding out that the funding for his
care home was being withdrawn, this man who suffered with mental health
issues, took his own life.
Sandra Louise Moon, 57. Suffering from a degenerative back condition,
depression and increasingly worried about losing her incapacity benefit.
Sandra committed suicide by taking an overdose.
Lee Robinson, 39 years old. Took his own life after his housing benefit and
council tax were taken away from him.
David Coupe, 57. A Cancer sufferer found fit for work by Atos in 2012. David
lost his sight, then his hearing, then his mobility, and then his life.
Michael McNicholas, 34. Severely depressed and a recovering alcoholic.
Michael committed suicide after being called in for a Work Capability
Assessment by Atos.
Victor Cuff, 59 and suffering from severe depression. Victor hanged himself
after the DWP stopped his benefits.
Charles Barden, 74. Charles committed suicide by hanging due to fears that
the Bedroom Tax would leave him destitute and unable to cope.
Ian Caress, 43. Suffered multiple health issues and deteriorating eyesight.
Ian was found fit for work by Atos, he died ten months later having lost so
much weight that his family said that he resembled a concentration camp
Iain Hodge, 30. Suffered from the life threatening illness, Hughes Syndrome.
Found fit for work by Atos and benefits stopped, Iain took his own life.
Wayne Grew, 37. Severely depressed due to government cuts and the fear of
losing his job, Wayne committed suicide by hanging.
Kevin Bennett, 40. Kevin a sufferer of schizophrenia and mental illness
became so depressed after his JSA was stopped that he became a virtual
recluse. Kevin was found dead in his flat several months later.
David Elwyn Hughs Harries, 48. A disabled man who could no longer cope after
his parents died, could find no help from the government via benefits. David
took an overdose as a way out of his solitude.
Denis Jones, 58. A disabled man crushed by the pressures of government cuts,
in particular the Bedroom Tax, and unable to survive by himself. Denis was
found dead in his flat.
Shaun Pilkington, 58. Unable to cope any more, Shaun shot himself dead after
receiving a letter from the DWP informing him that his ESA was being
Paul ?, 51. Died in a freezing cold flat after his ESA was stopped. Paul
appealed the decision and won on the day that he lost his battle to live.
Chris MaGuire, 61. Deeply depressed and incapable of work, Chris was
summonsed by Atos for a Work Capability Assessment and deemed fit for work.
On appeal, a judge overturned the Atos decision and ordered them to leave
him alone for at least a year, which they did not do. In desperation, Chris
took his own life, unable to cope anymore.
Peter Duut, a Dutch national with terminal cancer living in the UK for many
years found that he was not entitled to benefits unless he was active in the
labour market. Peter died leaving his wife destitute, and unable to pay for
George Scollen, age unknown. Took his own life after the government closed
the Remploy factory he had worked in for 40 years.
Julian Little, 47. Wheelchair bound and suffering from kidney failure,
Julian faced the harsh restrictions of the Bedroom Tax and the loss of his
essential dialysis room. He died shortly after being ordered to downgrade.
Miss DE, Early 50’s. Suffering from mental illness, this lady committed
suicide less than a month after an Atos assessor gave her zero points and
declared her fit for work.
Robert Barlow, 47. Suffering from a brain tumour, a heart defect and
awaiting a transplant, Robert was deemed fit for work by Atos and his
benefits were withdrawn. He died penniless less than two years later.
Carl Joseph Foster-Brown, 58. As a direct consequence of the wholly
unjustifiable actions of the Job centre and DWP, this man took his own life.
Martin Hadfield, 20 years old. Disillusioned with the lack of jobs available
in this country but too proud to claim benefits. Utterly demoralised, Martin
took his own life by hanging himself.
Annette Francis, 30. A mum-of-one suffering from severe mental illness,
found dead after her disability benefits were ceased.
Ian Jordan, 60. His benefits slashed after Atos and the DWP declared Ian, a
sufferer of Barratt’s Oesophagus, fit for work, caused him to run up massive
debts in order to survive. Ian was found dead in his flat after taking an
Janet McCall, 53. Terminally ill with pulmonary fibrosis and declared ‘Fit
for Work’ by Atos and the DWP, this lady died 5 months after her benefits
Stuart Holley, 23. A man driven to suicide by the DWP’s incessant pressure
and threat of sanctions for not being able to find a job.
Graham Shawcross, 63. A sufferer of the debilitating disease, Addison’s.
Died of a heart attack due to the stress of an Atos ‘Fit for Work’ decision.
David Clapson, 59 years old. A diabetic ex-soldier deprived of the means to
survive by the DWP and the governments harsh welfare reforms, David died all
but penniless, starving and alone, his electricity run out.
Chris Smith, 59. Declared ‘Fit for Work’ by Atos as he lay dying of Cancer
in his hospital bed.
Nathan Hartwell, 36, died of heart failure after an 18-month battle with the
Department for Works and Pensions.
Michael Connolly, 60. A Father of One, increasingly worried about finances
after his benefits were cut. Committed suicide by taking 13 times the fatal
dose of prescription medicine on the 30th October – His Birthday.
Jan Mandeville, 52, A lady suffering from Fibromyalgia, driven to the point
of mental and physical breakdown by this governments welfare reforms. Jan
was found dead in her home after battling the DWP for ESA and DLA.
Trevor Drakard, 50 years old. A shy and reserved, severe epileptic who
suffered regular and terrifying fits almost his entire life, hounded to
suicide by the DWP who threatened to stop his life-line benefits.
Death of a severely disabled Dorset resident, unnamed, who took her own life
while battling the bedroom tax.
May their deaths be avenged.
See also: UK ‘is first country to face UN inquiry into disability rights
violations’ ~ Disability News Service