Sledge hammer tactics!

Cameron wielding the ATOS hammer at claimants

Crippen's ATOS hammer cartoon

I’ve had several messages from people who are challenging the views of disabled activists regarding the government’s drive against benefit fraud. They seem to have fallen completely into the trap set by Cameron and his cronies, that is, focussing only on the £58 million that they say is being fraudulently claimed without taking into account the other information that runs along with it (but there’s Daily Mail readers for you!).

What they don’t seem to take into account is the fact that the government is paying ATOS in excess of £800 million pounds (figures from Jobcentre Plus Medical Services Contract Management Team) to put every disabled claimant through a medical test and an inaccessible tick box questionnaire in order to ascertain their eligibility for benefits. The fact that ATOS do not accept any additional information from claiments GP’s for example, further exposes the invalidity of this process.

Maths isn’t my strong point but even I can see that already this exercise is putting the government £742 million in the red!

And to top it all the government is also paying ATOS an incentive bonus for every claimant that they can take off of benefits – of which, incidentally over 70% are reinstated on appeal with more claiments being reinstated on a second application process (figures from 12 April 2011) – which in itself questions the fairness and impartiality of the process.

In addition to this ATOS don’t have to pay back these bonus’ whenever their decision is successfully challenged,  which in itself is a real incentive for them to take as many people off of benefits as they can get away with!

Unfortunately no figures are available at the moment regarding the cost of these appeals, which all come out of  government funding and adds to the total amount that it is costing to track down the 0.5% of fraudulant claims.

Bearing in mind that the government already know how much is being fraudulently claimed (0.5% or £58 million) against the £16 BILLION that is not being claimed by people who are elligible for benefits (figures from Citizen’s dvice Bureau and Child Poverty Action Group 2010) the exercise exposes yet another example of how this corrupt government is undermining our benefits system.

To understand the history behind these issues you can read an excellent article by Bob Williams Findlay who points out that it was in fact the Tories, in an earlier manifestation who first encouraged people out of work to claim sickness benefit rather than increase the unemployment figures! Click here to go to the article.

Remember, don’t keep this information to yourself. Spread it around and encourage people to question just what this government is really up to regarding our benefits system.

4 responses to this post.

  1. There are (as yet unconfirmed rumours) that the DWP are going to start fining ATOS


  2. […] Read what Crippen says about this cartoon in his blog. […]


  3. Posted by Merry Cross on 27/04/2011 at 08:56

    These figures are so useful…I’ve just sent a message to Avaaz, to encourage them to set up a petition about this, so you might like to forward this blog link to them.

    Otherwise…keep up the good work, I love your cartoons.


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