Green Party calls for the removal of ATOS from benefits assessments
10 September 2011
Green Party members yesterday voted to pass an emergency motion calling on the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions to stop using IT firm ATOS as its assessor of benefit claimants.
Concerns have been raised over the company’s suitability to conduct assessments, ranging from the lack of disabled access at their assessment centres to the shocking fact that 40% of their decisions have been found to be wrong on appeal .
Jillian Creasy, Green councillor for Sheffield Central who also works as a GP, said:
“ATOS’s computer-led assessment is far too blunt an instrument to assess a benefit that is vital for so many. For example, the box-ticking exercise is close to useless for assessing a condition such as autism. Not only that, but the number of decisions that have been reversed means that an awful lot of taxpayers’ money has been wasted.
“Disabled people should be afforded the dignity they deserve throughout any assessment process, and should not be presumed guilty or treated like they’re avoiding work. ATOS has no place in such a sensitive area, and we urge the government to sever all ties with the company.”
2. The full text of the emergency motion follows:
Conference expresses deep concern at the use of ATOS to assess incapacity benefit receivers for their ability to return to work. As evidence continues to mount that the work capability assessments are being used politically to remove Employment and Support Allowance payments, with 12 doctors referred to the General Medical Council in August, Conference calls on the party leadership to demand that the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions removes ATOS as its assessor of benefit claimants.
Fair and dignified care for the elderly
11 September 2011
On Monday 12th September, the Green Party’s autumn conference in Sheffield will discuss how British society can ensure adequate, fair and dignified care for the elderly.
With the average age of the population certain to increase over the coming decades, the cost of care is set to soar.
Extensive government cuts to council budgets will inevitably undermine the quality of care that local authorities are able to deliver.
Green Party Councillor in Kirklees, Andrew Cooper, said, “It’s crazy that government cuts are forcing councils to sacrifice the quality of care for some of the most elderly in British society. This is going to force other members of our society, who are already living on a low subsistence and in very challenging circumstances, to take the brunt of the cost of care for the elderly as the volunteer and charity sector are asked to compensate for the failings of government.
“The public sector has always ensured that the private sector has standards of excellence to aspire to. As more and more public sector bodies abandon their role as providers of care, this will only bode ill for those who most badly need it.”
Jean Lambert, Green MEP for London, and Co-President of the European Parliament Intergroup on Ageing, said: “Planned cuts to council budgets will have a devastating impact on the quality of care provided to the elderly. This is yet another example of how the coalition government’s ‘austerity measures’ are disproportionately affecting some of our most vulnerable people.
“Left without the help they depend on, these people will be condemned to a challenging and difficult existence. This is absolutely unacceptable.
“We have a duty to provide our elderly with the highest level of social care, and the public sector must be given the funds it needs to make this a reality.”