From the facebook page ‘Atos Miracles’
Last July I had a accident which resulted in my being unable to walk probably for life but defently the next 3-4 years .. You (the DWP) received my application in October and the specialists had returned my paperwork in November. I’m STILL WAITING for a assessment. Quite why I need this is a mystery to me given that the doctors will confirm I won’t walk anytime soon. I’ve been ringing since January and am currently waiting for a manager from atos to ring. I have no wheelchair or real way of moving about the reason I’m banking on this is I have no wheelchair to get around as the NHS no longer supply chairs. WHY IS THIS TAKING SO LONG? its clear I need help and until this is sorted I can’t even get any adaptions to my house to help me out . SHAME ON YOU. I’d understand if I wasn’t in this mess but that’s what this system is here for. Please get back to me with some sort of reply this is now nearly 6 months just for a assessment.
from the Facebook Page ‘Atos Miracles’
“63 weeks on esa assessment rate and still waiting for a work capability assessment.
Aatos sent a nice doctor round with Nigerian medical services on his bag . And then I lost my DLA mobility for PTSD as the doctor did not take any information given to him and twisted what I said. When I read the doctors medical report I was absolutely incensed with anger at the total bullshit he had wrote. I remember him shaking my hand as he left ; if I had know the lying and crap he put in I would have headbutted him. So I had my DLA taken away. Complained to Atos and it was decided the doctors report was not good enough. So I’m going to a tribunal.
Im now in complete debt and being hounded on the phone by companies I owe money 2. Had my phone suspended so cant contact mental health team when I need help. Now surviving by wonga loan and food banks. Gone without heating, electric food. Life’s a fucking struggle at the moment and why am I struggling because of Atos taking its time. I would have never believed one could have so much hardship inflicted on people who are ill. But that’s what this government are doing to people, starving them hounding them, messing with peoples anxiety and depression and forcing people into suicide. Its a fucking outrage and I cant believe its happening in my own country. And Atos have the cheek to say they want out off the WCA coz there staff are getting death threats, that’s a fucking insult to all the people Atos hounded to their deaths. I’m lucky I have people from Mind helping me without them I don’t know where i’d be . Any way fuck Atos and fuck Iian Duncan Smith.”
Any member of the public watching this debate this afternoon and listening to people jeer, laugh, smirk and joke might imagine that some Members of this House were playing a game. Well, I am rising to say to the House that this is not a game; this is about people’s lives.
Whether they be elderly people who are dependent on some of the age-related benefits that will fall under the cap, the disabled or people in low-paid work who depend on the system of tax credits, this is not a game; this is people’s lives. If it is really the position of Government Members that poor people should be made to live on even less, they should at least have the grace to be dignified about it, and not turn it into a game.
I put it to Government Members and to those on my own Front Bench that social security and people’s lives should not be made a matter of short-term political positioning.
Everyone in the House wants to bring down welfare spending, because welfare spending is the price of Government and social failure. The Chancellor talked as if he were some brave warrior wreaking vengeance on an army of “Benefits Street” layabouts. The reality for British people is very different.
Just this week, we saw 1,500 people queuing for three hours for a low-paid job at Aldi. The picture Government Members like to paint of the British people and what is happening in the benefit system is false, misleading and derogatory, yet it is feeding through to public attitudes.
The public thinks that 41% of the benefits bill goes to the unemployed. In fact, it is only 3% of the benefits bill. The public thinks that 27% of benefits are claimed fraudulently. In fact, only 0.7% is so claimed. The truth is that 80% of the people who claim jobseekers allowance—those so-called “Benefits Street” layabouts—only claim it for less than a year.
There is no credit to MPs if they constantly talk in a derogatory way about people who claim benefits when, at any given point in our lives, we may be dependent on social security—be it child benefit, benefits for the elderly or in-work benefits.
This benefits cap is arbitrary and bears no relationship to need, as our benefits system should. It does not allow for changing circumstances—rents going up and population rising—and will make inequality harder to tackle.
There are ways to cut welfare. We could put people back to work, introduce a national living wage, build affordable homes and have our compulsory jobs guarantee. An arbitrary cap is the wrong way in which to go and sends out the wrong message.
The Chancellor does not say many things that I think are correct, but he is correct to say that voting for this cap locks us into the coalition’s cuts. I say to the House that the issue of social security should not be about political positioning.
As the months turn into years, people will be coming to our advice surgeries wanting explanations for totally arbitrary and counter-productive cuts. Will we say that it was a game we were playing with the Chancellor one afternoon in March?
Our welfare system should be based on the facts and on need. Whatever short-term political advantage people think is gained by voting for this cap, it is far outweighed by what is problematic, so, no, I will not be voting for this cap in the Lobby tonight.