From Political Scrapbook today.
Yet another disabled person has died after being declared “fit for work” by DWP contractor Atos, despite being struck down by a crippling illness. Brian McArdle died the day after his disability benefits were stopped, suffering a fatal heart attack which relatives insist was caused by stress related to the decision.
The 57 year old Scot, wasparalysed down one side of his body, blind in one eye, and couldn’t speak — yet in a bizarre but not uncommon decision Atos thought he wasn’t deserving of Employment and Support Allowance.
Figures from the Daily Mirror have revealed that 32 claimants each week — nearly 1,700 per year — have died after they were branded “fit for work”.
Criticising the previous incapacity benefits regime in March, then employment minister Chris Grayling said:
“To have such a high percentage who are fit for work just emphasises what a complete waste of human lives the current system has been.”
Grayling has moved from a metaphorical “waste of lives” to a literal one.
The Green Benches adds this week,
“The Tory Party has received £1.3 million in donations from donors linked to ATOS.”
Hat-tips to Toby and Facebook friends.