IDS announces ‘fitness for work’ U-turn that was five years in the making

39

Work and pensions secretary Iain Duncan Smith appears set to scrap the “fitness for work” test championed by successive Labour, coalition and Conservative governments, but there are fears that its replacement could prove even more damaging to disabled people.

Duncan Smith (pictured) – in comments not included in a written version of a speech reported by mainstream media – said that employment minister Priti Patel would lead a review of the out-of-work benefit, employment and support allowance (ESA).

And he also appeared to promise that the work capability assessment (WCA), the much-criticised eligibility test for ESA, would be scrapped.

He was speaking just three days before his department finally published complex new figures on the number of people who died after being found “fit for work” following a WCA.

Tory, Labour and coalition governments have repeatedly given their support to the ESA system, since it was launched under Labour in 2008.

But Duncan Smith said, in the speech delivered this week to the thinktank Reform, that there was a “fundamental flaw” at the heart of ESA.

He said: “It is a system that decides that you are either capable of work or you are not capable of work.

“Two absolutes equating to one perverse incentive – a person has to be incapable of all work or available for all work.”

He added: “Someone may be able to do some work for some hours, days or weeks, but not what they were doing previously, when they first became ill.”

Duncan Smith said that ESA – and particularly the WCA – was at odds with the government’s new simplified working-age benefit system, universal credit.

He said: “The more personalised approach under universal credit… sits alongside a work capability assessment which sets the wrong incentives.”

He said a new system should be “better geared towards helping people prepare for work they may be capable of, rather than parking them forever beyond work”, and should be “focussed on what a claimant can do and the support that they need to be able to do it – and not just on what they can’t do”.

Duncan Smith’s comments appear to signal a major retreat from his party’s support for ESA and WCA over the last five years.

And they come less than two months after George Osborne announced, in his summer budget, that from April 2017 he was scrapping the extra financial support for new ESA claimants placed in the work-related activity group, a loss of about £1,500 a year per person, as part of measures that would cut £13 billion-a-year from the social security budget by 2020-21.

If Duncan Smith’s comments do mean an end to the WCA, it would mark a victory for disabled activists who have campaigned for five years for the assessment to be scrapped, despite repeated government insistence that it was fit for purpose.

Over the course of five independent reviews aimed at improving the WCA, Tory ministers have insisted that the WCA must stay.

In the government’s response to the second independent review of the WCA, in 2011, employment minister Chris Grayling said they would “make further improvements to the work capability assessment to ensure it continues to be fit for purpose”.

In his response to the third independent review of the WCA, in 2012, employment minister Mark Hoban said the goal was “continuous improvement”, and added: “We agree that the WCA ‘remains a valid concept for assessing… eligibility’ and that there is no evidence to suggest that the system is fundamentally unsound.”

Early in 2014, Mike Penning, then the minister for disabled people, responded to the fourth WCA review by welcoming the conclusion of the independent reviewer, Dr Paul Litchfield, that the WCA did not need to be scrapped.

Penning said: “In line with the government’s view, he has instead reflected that we need to make further changes but that these reflect our strategy of continuous improvement rather than radical overhaul.”

And just three months before May’s general election, responding to the fifth and final review, Mark Harper, Penning’s successor, insisted that the WCA was “integral to the government’s commitment to ensuring that as many people as are able to do so engage in employment and that those who cannot work receive the appropriate support”.

But now, in this week’s speech, Duncan Smith appears to have concluded that his government was wrong all along to support the ESA and WCA system.

He told the Reform event: “I want to place people at the heart of a system, and make the system work around them, rather than the other way round, as has been the case.

“It was this back-to-front approach which we had inherited, a system that people crashed into, and struggled to figure out too often.”

Disabled campaigner and researcher Catherine Hale, who wrote a well-received review on the failure of the ESA system to increase the number of disabled people in paid work, said: “I’ve always welcomed the idea of an assessment geared to what kind of work a person could do and what support they would need to do it, as Labour was promising before the election.

“But it would have to be based on the real world of employment, not the fantasy world of the current WCA, involving moving empty cardboard boxes and picking up pound coins from the floor.

“However, I’ll eat my hat if this government, after all its policies and rhetoric of blame and punishment towards disabled people, actually intends to perform a U-turn and empower us instead.”

Michelle Maher, of the WOWpetition – which calls on the government to assess the overall impact of its cuts to support and social care on disabled people – said she believed Duncan Smith’s speech signified a plan to cut the number of people receiving out-of-work disability benefits.

She said: “I firmly believe they thought the WCA would reduce numbers and that people were fraudulently claiming or making a ‘lifestyle’ choice.”

But when ministers realised this was not the case, she said, they decided to scrap the WCA and replace it with something “innocuous but deadly”, with more sanctions and even more “frightening and stressful” for ESA claimants.

Linda Burnip, co-founder of Disabled People Against Cuts, said: “What Iain Duncan Smith has said is interesting, but the mind boggles about what he is going to replace it with. He is a slimy snake and I wouldn’t trust him.”

Nick Dilworth, co-founder of the New Approach campaign group and welfare benefits specialist for the website ilegal, said the speech had left many people “bewildered”.

He agreed that Duncan Smith appeared to have announced plans to scrap the WCA, but said he had provided no clue as to what he would replace it with.

He said: “I would warmly welcome reform if it was in the right direction.”

But he added: “I think it would be an absolute crying shame for that opportunity to be lost by Iain Duncan Smith spinning forth a load of rhetoric to get people onside and then doing the absolute reverse. That is what I think he will do.”

Dilworth said he believed that Duncan Smith would make it harder for disabled people to enter the support group of ESA – or the equivalent under universal credit – and said: “When he talks about reform, I am all for that, but I just don’t trust him.”

John McArdle, co-founder of Black Triangle, said: “IDS’s latest pronouncements are a signal that a fresh attack on the fundamental human rights of sick and/or disabled people is in the preparatory stages. 

“You can’t help disabled people by impoverishing them through brutal austerity cuts as your guiding policy.

“IDS has realised that his disastrous social security cuts have failed to ‘make savings’, even on their own terms, so now he is fumbling around seeking new ways to justify further assaults on our welfare state.

“He’s a proven liar and is both dangerous and breathtakingly incompetent to boot.

“If the UK was still a civilised society – in a week when the DWP has been forced to reveal just how many thousands of sick and/or disabled people have died in abject penury after unjustly being found fit for work – IDS would have been summarily dismissed.

“Dying in poverty and neglect is now just a fact of life in what remains of our social security system, thanks to this man. It is intolerable.”

Disabled activist Caroline Richardson, from the Spartacus online campaigning network, said: “The evolution of universal credit has shown it to be now a system of sanctions, where a person has to continually increase their hours/wages under threat of not just losing the ‘amount a person needs to live on’ but also their housing and other benefits.

“Abolition of ESA reduces the ‘indicator flag’ that clearly differentiates people. I fear that assessments will increase in frequency, and be linked to the number of hours the assessor believes a person could work.

“Anyone with any capacity at all would be effectively on jobseeker’s allowance, even if their claimant commitment obligation for hours to be worked is very low.”

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  • Leon Carter

    Any new system has to include his Resignation/Sacking and a person with the understanding and competence put in place and lets not forget under him the many many people who agree with his policies and lack the understanding of what has been happening that will take just as long again to put right

    • jan hamilton

      one ESA report found me fit for work as I could lift an empty box, press a button and lift my arm to chest height. I would love IDS to explain how that would give me a chance in the work place.. only problem was… yes i could lift the empty box but would probably drop it due to arthritis and carpel tunnel in both hands.. press a button, yes i would press it if i could actually see it.. eye disease totally skews my vision.. lift arm tio chest height.. that wasn’t possible at the time as i had shoulder problems and could barely move one arm !!

      Previous to that one assessor watched me crawl across the floor in tears of pain and humiliation due to arm, knee, hip, hand and shoulder pain and try to lift myself up on a chair .. oh can’t you get up i should help you .. scored me nil points on can get up off the floor unaided.. the last assessment i was ommediately sent home as my blood pressurewas at toxic levels and i have since found out i have had a series of mini strokes.. caused by extremely high blood oressure, so thank for that Atossers.!

      This whole shambolic mess is bad enough but if Smith interferes god knows what we are in for, he has no understanding whatsoever of the life of someone that is chronically sick or disabled and has fluctuating conditions. And one wonders where all these jobs for the disabled are. He is no more than a completely malicious, spiteful, hateful, cold hearted moron, who should be sacked and prosecuted for what he has done to the most vulnerable in society x

      • srgc2731

        Healed by ATOS 2012 resulting in benefits being reduced from £104 incapacity to £21 ESA ( wrag ) why doesnt anybody know about benefit reductions ?
        ————————————————–
        Having won my apeal i now find myself in the ” WRAG ” I believe if the DM had investigated the data used at the Tribunal then it would be clear i should be in the Support group
        Having several Muscoskeletal conditions all asociated with chronic pain
        all classed as debilitating and degenerative with no expectation of improvement
        Fused Spine with degenerative disc disease at all levels of the lumbar a#spine along with plate irregularity “scheuermanns ” disease
        Scheuermann’s disease is notorious for causing lower and mid-level back and neck pain, which can be severe and disabling. The sufferer may feel pain at the apex of the curve, which can be aggravated by physical activity and by periods of standing or sitting;
        this can have a significantly detrimental effect to their lives as their level of activity is curbed by their condition

        Hip “Perthes Disease
        Common symptoms include hip, knee (hip pathology can refer pain to a normal knee), or groin pain, exacerbated by hip/leg movement, especially internal hip rotation (twisting the leg toward the center of the body). The pain is moderate to severe, at times rendering the patient unable to stand. There is a reduced range of motion at the hip joint, and there is a painful or antalgic gait. There may be atrophy of thigh muscles from disuse and an inequality of leg length. In some cases, some activity can cause severe irritation or inflammation of the damaged area including standing, walking, running, kneeling, or stooping repeatedly for an extended period of time. In cases exhibiting severe femoral osteonecrosis, pain is usually a chronic, throbbing sensation exacerbated by activity
        Also have refered pain and problems with the other leg due to altered walking patterns
        Arthritis and cartlidge
        Have developed problems in both kneecaps over the last year which are not helped by any increased mobility

        that apart i believe that the following regulation should be taken into consideration
        —————————
        The Employment and Support Allowance Regulations 2008
        Exceptional circumstances Regulation 29
        29. (1) A claimant who does not have limited capability for work as determined in accordance with the limited capability for work assessment is to be treated as having limited capability for work if paragraph (2) applies to the claimant.
        (2) This paragraph applies if—
        (b)the claimant suffers from some specific disease or bodily or mental disablement and, by reasons of such disease or disablement, there would be a substantial risk to the mental or physical health of any person if the claimant were found not to have limited capability for work.

        • jan hamilton

          well it was a miracle. you were were healed by Atos, and i have seen many instances of this !

          It beggars belief that they can get it so wrong so often, their skullduggery and incompetence knows no bounds.

          On one of my reports ( i get all the paperwork they have on me via a SAR request.. interesting reading i can tell you when you see the blatent lies) it plainly stated that my multiple illnesses were disabling, degenerative, would not improve and work in the long term was unlikely. … but that did not stop them sending me repeat forms 12/14/19/15 weeks after a decision letter putting me in the SG.. to me it was no more than harassment, 4 forms in a year, and i ended up in A/E with a suspected heart attack after the last raft of harassment when they expected me to attend an assessment nearly 2 hours away on publictransport/walking 3 days after surgery on both eyes. i had to pay for a gp letter ( and what a belter that was, turns out my gp hated them as much as i did) to explain exaclty why i couldn’t go !! errr i was so bruised and swollen and in so much pain, had an infection in the stitch lines.. oh and i couldn’t see as i had dressings on both eyes !
          Upshot of that was i was put in the wrag group from the SG. 3 months later after a raft of emails to dwp pointing out their many errors, i was put back in the SG.

          It seems beyond belief that they could put you in WRAG with all your issues when it is blatently obvious you should be in the SG, but that is testament to the useless system they use and the fact that decision makers are just clerical staff not medically trained.
          they should have been made aware of the errors in your report and maybe a gp letter telling them of regulation 29

          Yes the whole system needs to be overhauled with with Smith at the helm god help us all as he has no conception that some people simply cannot work, and being expected to do so, even limited hours, would have a determental affect on our health, both physical and mental.
          With all the appointments and physio i have I’d spend more time on the phone explaining why i couldn’t come in that day.. I can’t get out of bed till someone comes to egt me up and move me downstairs, sorry i can barely walk today so i won;t be in, sorry my back has seized up again i need an urgent physio appt today…… and so it continues !!
          Just leave us alone to get on with our lives as best we can, not bully and harass us.. often to the grave.

          I hope being in WRAG you get as little harassment as possible and are not expected to attend too often.

          Maybe another look at getting in the SG if you can, possibly with the help of CAB or somewhere.

          good luck and take care

          • srgc2731

            attend once every 6 months as they admit ime unemployable
            —————–
            its the benefit reduction the £21 doesnt even pay the compulsary £8 council tax enforced in the last parliament or the £14 bedroom tax
            ————-

          • jan hamilton

            ok, that being the case they really are not helping you at all, they know by the sound of it you should be in the SG, can you ask for another ESA form to fill in and try for the SG, i know it;s stressful, been there several times, but they definately have you in the wrong group.
            And have you applied for pip, you should do if not.
            Have you applied to the council for discretionary housing allowance, maybe make an appt to see someone there and have a word with them re your financial situation.
            I don’t have to pay C/tax.. rent shortfall and bedroom tax however is a crippler !!
            I know it’s not easy at times, but we have to fight for ouselves and get what is rightfully ours, if they say you are not fit for work ask for another form and if you have a recent other diagnosis you can re apply i think.
            I’m sure Citizens advice or someone can give you more guidance than me.
            good luck

    • David Young

      Sorry Leon,but arrest and charged with 8,000+ counts of Corporate Manslaughter would be preferrable.

      • Leon Carter

        Agree David, but having researched this I am not sure such a charge applies to MP’s ineed it would appear they are above the law which is wrong in itself

        • srgc2731

          Duty of Care ?
          ———————————–

        • David Young

          That may be so Leon,but his Department most certainly is not above such a charge,going by the wording of the law.

  • Nick

    I’m afraid that any new system will be the detriment of the long term sick and disabled as any long term sick or disabled person would be working if they could as it’s not normal to not be working

    All IDS can do is still persecute these groups of people as he main aim is to save money and that’s the bottom line

    • srgc2731

      and it isnt now ?
      after 12 months you are automatically transferred to INCOME related ESA at this point

      benefit reduction comes into play

      Under INCAPACITY BENEFIT any income over approx £84 had a pecentage reduction
      UNDER ir esa EVERY PENNY IS REMOVED £ for £
      recieve a ill health pension goodbe benefit
      partner works goodbye benefits
      savings goodbye benefits

      cuts what cuts only one group are paying for austerity the long term sick and disabled

      • Tracy

        military pension = no help with benefits or housing, it is disgusting that we have so many ex-forces sleeping on the streets… ids is a disgrace to the uniform that he used to wear, probably went in as an officer instead of working up the ranks

        • srgc2731

          used to get £104 incapacity benefit this added to my £60 pw works ill health retirement pension gave me an income of £160 pw

          no rent no council tax

          ————–

          now receive £21 income related ESA pay £22 council tax + bedroom tax

          leaves an income of £59 works ill health retirement pension

          ———-

          cuts what cuts

          ————-]

          Having won my apeal i now find myself in the ” WRAG ” I believe if the DM had investigated the data used at the Tribunal then it would be clear i should be in the Support group
          Having several Muscoskeletal conditions all asociated with chronic pain
          all classed as debilitating and degenerative with no expectation of improvement
          Fused Spine with degenerative disc disease at all levels of the lumbar a#spine along with plate irregularity “scheuermanns ” disease
          Scheuermann’s disease is notorious for causing lower and mid-level back and neck pain, which can be severe and disabling. The sufferer may feel pain at the apex of the curve, which can be aggravated by physical activity and by periods of standing or sitting;
          this can have a significantly detrimental effect to their lives as their level of activity is curbed by their condition

          Hip “Perthes Disease
          Common symptoms include hip, knee (hip pathology can refer pain to a normal knee), or groin pain, exacerbated by hip/leg movement, especially internal hip rotation (twisting the leg toward the center of the body). The pain is moderate to severe, at times rendering the patient unable to stand. There is a reduced range of motion at the hip joint, and there is a painful or antalgic gait. There may be atrophy of thigh muscles from disuse and an inequality of leg length. In some cases, some activity can cause severe irritation or inflammation of the damaged area including standing, walking, running, kneeling, or stooping repeatedly for an extended period of time. In cases exhibiting severe femoral osteonecrosis, pain is usually a chronic, throbbing sensation exacerbated by activity
          Also have refered pain and problems with the other leg due to altered walking patterns
          Arthritis and cartlidge
          Have developed problems in both kneecaps over the last year which are not helped by any increased mobility

          that apart i believe that the following regulation should be taken into consideration
          —————————
          The Employment and Support Allowance Regulations 2008
          Exceptional circumstances Regulation 29
          29. (1) A claimant who does not have limited capability for work as determined in accordance with the limited capability for work assessment is to be treated as having limited capability for work if paragraph (2) applies to the claimant.
          (2) This paragraph applies if—
          (b)the claimant suffers from some specific disease or bodily or mental disablement and, by reasons of such disease or disablement, there would be a substantial risk to the mental or physical health of any person if the claimant were found not to have limited capability for work.

    • Tracy

      money can be saved by cutting mp wages.. wish i could get a job to be paid 300 a day to sign in then go home, or have a kip on the bench

  • Pip

    I am really afraid that there is a plan to force sick and disabled people into part time workfare. That’s what this is about.

  • Mwxxx .

    Yawn.
    How come none of the hot air blowers quoted in this story have *still* not read – The Fraud Act, Misconduct in Public Office, Perverting The Course Of Justice, Vulnerable Adult Abuse etc. etc…
    And demanding that the police stuff ids and his gang of criminal abusers in prison where they belong?
    Whatever those sickos come up with… I’ll keep reporting the crimes that they have already comitted against me (until I find an honest cop)… And dialing 999 if his gang comes anywhere near me again.

  • Andy Workman

    Not just scary but absolutely petrifying. And it will all be wrapped up in the same ‘we’re doing the best for you’ propaganda while the reality is that we will really be abused and degraded even more.
    As my Dr’s are repeatedly asking if I intend to harm myself, I really should not be reading this!

  • Jean Stones

    I only have 2 problems with IDS every thing he says and every thing he does

  • srgc2731

    The largest spend on benefits is old age pension
    by raising the age and putting sick and disabled through the benefit process I D S has ensured future savings as many of us will never reach pension age

  • denise clendinning

    You people love calling pensions a benefit dont you it is not a benefit and has never been one why did i work for 40 odd years just to be called a scrounger on benefits I DONT THINK SO

    • rhodie110961

      Denise, the problem is when the Tories attack the welfare system and quote figures that scare the electorate, they include pension payments as well. They manipulate these statistics to enforce austerity. I agree wholeheartedly with you that pensions are not benefits, but if they exclude pension payments it will make their scaremongering look petty, that won`t suit their agenda.

      • denise clendinning

        Well rhodie they have the UN on their backs now and i hope they show them up for what they really are a bunch of crooks

    • srgc2731

      why did i pay NI 35 yrs
      what happened to sickness benefit ?

      • denise clendinning

        i paid it as well. In years to come there will be no more NI as people will have to take out insurance to cover their sickness as there will be no more sickness benefit and unemployment benefit as well

        • srgc2731

          Well the 1/3 rd of all full time workers currently earning less than £12,000
          will require a substantial pay increase to cover the cost of health and old age pension

          considering that these are also the type of people who die on average seven years earlier than the average middle class worker

          • denise clendinning

            Well the 7 50 he is giving in April next year is an insult Tax credits are going and people will be worst off I FEEL SO SORRY FOR ANY WORKER TODAY AS THEY ARE BEING SHAFTED RIGHT LEFT AND CENTRE

  • Andrew Currie

    IDS has actually got something right! ESA does assess that a person is either fit for work or not. Unfortunately IDS will use any change that takes into account the possibility of doing some work as a way to classify even more people as ‘fit for work’. (But without providing enough jobs with a living wage for such people.)
    And the living wage is not an hourly rate – £9 by 2020 Osborne says; it can only be stated as a yearly salary. eg if you only work 16 hours a week whether it is all a person can manage, or if it’s the only job they can get, then that hourly rate needs to be about £23.

    • srgc2731

      ESA does not make an assessment on whether a person is physically able to work
      ———–
      its a tick box assessment it and the DWP ignore any medical evidence whilst reaching there decisions
      ————–

      • srgc2731

        the majority would not be allowed to sign on for JSA as they are medically unfit

        this has never been about getting people back to work

        this is punishment for being sick or disabled

      • Margaret Smith

        Very true, a tick box assessment that bears absolutely no relevance whatsoever to the realities of living with a chronic, debilitating and fluctuating illness like mine, ME/CFS. And I suspect that of many others. It is totally and utterly unfit for purpose as it assumes one size fits all and measures only what you are able to do as a one off, not how long you need to prepare to do that task or how long you need in order to recover from it, or how many times you can repeat that task and in what sort of frequency before you become too fatigued to do anything.

        It also does not take account of the fact that for an illness like mine, just because you can do something once totally ignores the fact that if you over task yourself at all in any way you are actually putting your chances of recovery further back. And if you keep doing so by say having to attend regular interviews or even one hours work per week you can actually damage yourself to the point you may become so ill you can never work again at all. That is the truth of living with many chronic conditions but the tests and forms totally ignore that.

  • 012345678910

    “SES DWP” Welcome to the new workfare… Work or die!

  • srgc2731

    Sent: 29 March 2013 11:39
    To: HOPKINS, Kris
    Subject: Letter from your constituent m johnson

    RE: Letter from your constituent m johnsonDear Mrs Johnson

    Thank you for your email.

    I can assure you that the Government is not cutting support to disabled people who need it. It will continue to spend around £13 billion a year on PIP – the same as at present. The introduction of the PIP will make sure the billions we spend give more targeted support to those who have the greatest need.

    I know that the assessment criteria and guidance are important issues for disabled people. The Government believes that the assessment providers should be structured on a regional basis so that the quality of service can be improved through a more tailored approach designed to suit local needs.

    Atos and Capita Business Services have demonstrated a strong commitment to working with a range of organisations from health groups through to the voluntary sector. They have also worked closely with disabled people’s representative groups and Ministers are keen to ensure that this continues.

    Ministers have also produced detailed guidelines for all of the health professionals carrying out PIP assessments. Health professionals undertaking assessments on behalf of the Department of Work and Pensions must be registered practitioners who have also met strict requirements on training, experience and competence. I also understand that the guidance will be subject to ongoing updates and refinement and will consider any comments made on it.

    The Government has been very clear that the assessment must be consistent and of the same high quality throughout the country. Both providers will be working to the same legislative framework and criteria, which introduces a more objective, accurate assessment. The DWP will be closely monitoring and auditing assessments to ensure their quality and consistency.

    Ministers are also committed to spending around £50 billion a year on disabled people and their services and the UK’s spending on disability-related benefits continues to be a fifth higher than the EU average which is a real testament to its commitment to support those with disabilities.

    I trust this information is helpful.

    Best regards

    Kris Hopkins

    • Nick

      Kris Hopkins would not have a clue what he’s talking about

      my mp also conservative has always told me that he’s never been able to understand them on any level and suspects he never will

      i myself at aged 60 have never ever found them to be any useful for anything over many years

      there errors are gross leading to me to have to pay account’s fees to prove facts

      if they said when i first become ill do wont to quit the country and what i know now today i would have gone straight away

      its to late for me to quit the country at my age but to others more younger trust me you can do it and go as to stay here with the DWP in your life is complete madness irrespective of what they pay you in benefit as your life is no longer your own that and the extreme lengths you have to go to to continue receiving your benefit its not worth it and is no wonder why so many sick and disabled end up taking their own lives

    • Paul C. Dickie

      Pure stercus bovi.

  • srgc2731

    On 22 April 2013 14:19, Linda McAvan MEP

    Dear I Perkins

    Thank you for your email regarding Atos which administers the government’s work capability assessments.

    Unfortunately I am not aware of any European laws being broken in the administering of the assessments. However, given the stories which have been made public, of people being told they are fit to work by Atos and then dying during or after the assessment shows there are very serious issues at hand.

    The Labour Party has made it clear it is unhappy with the way Atos is working. Liam Byrne MP, Labour’s Shadow Work and Pensions Secretary, has recently said “The Work Capability Assessment is in need of fast and fundamental reform. Ministers must stop burying their heads in the sand, and fix this mess now.”

    Normally, your local MP would deal with this case but as you indicate he will not respond. I would be happy to raise your concerns with the Minister for Employment at DWP Mark Hoban MP. Let me know if you wish me to take this up.

    I hope this helps and explains my position on Atos.

    Yours sincerely

    Linda McAvan MEP
    Constituency Office
    79 High Street
    Wath upon Dearne
    South Yorkshire
    S63 7QB

    • Paul C. Dickie

      Mark Hoban is not a man, he’s a mouth.

      He just parrots everything told him by IDS.

  • srgc2731

    it appears that one has to die before you are recognized as being a victim of unfair tory policy
    ————————
    however there are many thousands out there who have been hit badly who refuse to die

    these are the forgotten ones the ones nobody speaks up for

  • Reed Dee

    But IDS seems to forget the times when he needed the benefits to live on when he was out of work? how fortunate he was to be able to sponge off his rich wife!!