Local disability groups to demonstrate their anger in the town centre against the government’s use of company ATOS to vet applications of sick and disabled people who have been signed off work by their doctor
The protest will be held at 9am on Wednesday 19 February outside Spring Gardens House in Princess Street where the contentious medical tests are held and decided upon.
Kate Linnegar of Swindon People’s Assembly said: “ATOS have been misdiagnosing the cases of Swindon residents for years, causing unnecessary misery and stress, and branding ill people as liars.
“The government uses ATOS to do its dirty work by trying to force the disabled off benefits by falsely claiming they can work and withholding money they need to cope with their disability or illness. The tests involve sitting in a chair and asking people if they can make a cup of tea. They do not assess if a sick person can work in a realistic way.”
Sean Wilson an independent Financial Advisor who had to give up work added: “I have won two tribunals against ATOS. Independent panels of doctors and judges have agreed with my GP’s original assessment and found against ATOS.”
Kate Linnegar said: “Between January and November 2011, nationally 10,600 people died within six weeks of their claim ending.
“Everybody who has been affected by or disagrees with the use of ATOS is invited to join us, whatever their political persuasion. We have supporters from different parties and people who belong to none."
For further details contact: Kate Linnegar Tel 01793 522824. Mob 07952544394. or email@example.com
The demonstration is organised by Swindon People’s Assembly which is affiliated to the the People’s Assembly Against austerity. www.thepeoplesassembly.org.uk
• Actual figures in a table from DWP: 2,200 people died before they finished being assessed.
1,300 died who were in the work related activity group (Fit for work).
7,100 died who were in the support group (the most disabled).
The government now refuses to record these statistics. Michael Meacher MPs call for a public enquiry has been ignored.