Protest against benefits shake up

First published in News by

PROTESTERS targeted a disability assessment centre in Salisbury as part a national campaign against benefit changes.

The demonstration, on Wednesday, was staged outside the assessment centre in Summerlock House next to the Jobcentre in Summerlock Approach and included disabled people, trade union members and Green and Labour party supporters.

Cindy Sprinks from Unite, said it was part of a 144-event national protest against ATOS, the French-owned company that is reassessing people claiming disability-related benefits as part of the Government’s welfare shake-up.

Ms Sprinks, who works as a carer for her autistic son and is a student, said: “People need to stand up against the corrupt system. They are suffering because of it and some are dying. They don’t have enough to feed themselves or for electricity.”

Carol Dunford, a protester from Primrose Road, Salisbury said after being reassessed by ATOS she had a £30 cut in her £100 per week Employment and Support Allowance, having been judged to be fit to take up any job. The 50-year-old former care worker says she was successful in her appeal against the ruling as she suffers from osteoarthritis, scoliosis and depression and is waiting for a hip replacement. She said: “I want to work but there are limitations.”

Steve Grey, a father-of-four from Gainsborough Close, Salisbury, said his wife Louisa, 37, has been in bed for four years with chronic regional pain syndrome. He was annoyed that she has to be reassessed every year despite always being successful against the ATOS ruling that she was not disabled.

Clive Wiley, 61, said in 2011 he had been reassessed, had his benefit cut and was told he was fit for work, despite struggling with the affects of cerebral palsy. He said: “I’ve worked and I paid off my mortgage by the age of 40, but I’m worn out. The factory jobs have all gone.” Mr Wiley successfully appealed against the cut, but is concerned about those unable to stand up for themselves.

Tom Corbin, Labour City councillor, said the Government needed to abandon the reassessment programme. He said: “People unfortunate enough to be ill are being persecuted.”

A statement from ATOS said it respected the right to protest but said it was the wrong target as it worked to guidelines laid down by the Department for Work and Pensions. The statement added: “Lobbying against Atos Healthcare will have no impact on welfare policy. It is not, nor has it ever been, the role of Atos Healthcare to make decisions on who can or cannot receive benefits.”

Comments (12)

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10:56am Thu 20 Feb 14

karlmarx says...

Remember when teachers, nurses, doctors, firefighters and the disabled crashed the stock market, wiped out banks, took billions in bonuses and paid no tax?
No, me neither!
Remember when teachers, nurses, doctors, firefighters and the disabled crashed the stock market, wiped out banks, took billions in bonuses and paid no tax? No, me neither! karlmarx
  • Score: -4

1:29pm Thu 20 Feb 14

cazzie22 says...

I have been misquoted in my statement. I am waiting for a total knee replacement not hip!
I have been misquoted in my statement. I am waiting for a total knee replacement not hip! cazzie22
  • Score: 5

3:21pm Thu 20 Feb 14

Friend of the People says...

Yes, the coaloition government deliberately demonize the poor, the ill and all claimants. Now the churches are seeing through this whole process, especially as the use of food banks increase.

Always remember, any of us can fall on hard times - unless you are an investment banker..
Yes, the coaloition government deliberately demonize the poor, the ill and all claimants. Now the churches are seeing through this whole process, especially as the use of food banks increase. Always remember, any of us can fall on hard times - unless you are an investment banker.. Friend of the People
  • Score: -2

5:19pm Fri 21 Feb 14

Friend of the People says...

I see ATOS is trying hard to get out from all its "fittnes to work testing" contracts with the Coalition government because all the negative publicity it is receiving. Apparently the government is worried that with such publicity no other contractor will want to do the job.

Just shows you what a well planned and publicised protest can do.
I see ATOS is trying hard to get out from all its "fittnes to work testing" contracts with the Coalition government because all the negative publicity it is receiving. Apparently the government is worried that with such publicity no other contractor will want to do the job. Just shows you what a well planned and publicised protest can do. Friend of the People
  • Score: -3

8:56am Sun 23 Feb 14

Champers says...

Friend of the People wrote:
Yes, the coaloition government deliberately demonize the poor, the ill and all claimants. Now the churches are seeing through this whole process, especially as the use of food banks increase.

Always remember, any of us can fall on hard times - unless you are an investment banker..
Or Wayne Rooney and his colleagues! Whilst taking a pop at bankers, remember the obscene, out of touch, amounts that footballers (and media stars) are paid too. And no one seems to find that offensive in these days of austerity?
[quote][p][bold]Friend of the People[/bold] wrote: Yes, the coaloition government deliberately demonize the poor, the ill and all claimants. Now the churches are seeing through this whole process, especially as the use of food banks increase. Always remember, any of us can fall on hard times - unless you are an investment banker..[/p][/quote]Or Wayne Rooney and his colleagues! Whilst taking a pop at bankers, remember the obscene, out of touch, amounts that footballers (and media stars) are paid too. And no one seems to find that offensive in these days of austerity? Champers
  • Score: -1

5:33pm Sun 23 Feb 14

karlmarx says...

Champers wrote:
Friend of the People wrote:
Yes, the coaloition government deliberately demonize the poor, the ill and all claimants. Now the churches are seeing through this whole process, especially as the use of food banks increase.

Always remember, any of us can fall on hard times - unless you are an investment banker..
Or Wayne Rooney and his colleagues! Whilst taking a pop at bankers, remember the obscene, out of touch, amounts that footballers (and media stars) are paid too. And no one seems to find that offensive in these days of austerity?
Could have something to do with the fact that they didn't crash the stock market, wipe out the banks, rigged interest rates, laundered drug cartel money, bribed middle east governments, lent money to drug cartels, paid themselves huge bonuses with your money, mis-sold products, paid no taxes, rigged energy markets etc...Then expect the weak and vulnerable to pay to repair it all.

Just a guess.
[quote][p][bold]Champers[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]Friend of the People[/bold] wrote: Yes, the coaloition government deliberately demonize the poor, the ill and all claimants. Now the churches are seeing through this whole process, especially as the use of food banks increase. Always remember, any of us can fall on hard times - unless you are an investment banker..[/p][/quote]Or Wayne Rooney and his colleagues! Whilst taking a pop at bankers, remember the obscene, out of touch, amounts that footballers (and media stars) are paid too. And no one seems to find that offensive in these days of austerity?[/p][/quote]Could have something to do with the fact that they didn't crash the stock market, wipe out the banks, rigged interest rates, laundered drug cartel money, bribed middle east governments, lent money to drug cartels, paid themselves huge bonuses with your money, mis-sold products, paid no taxes, rigged energy markets etc...Then expect the weak and vulnerable to pay to repair it all. Just a guess. karlmarx
  • Score: -8

8:44pm Sun 23 Feb 14

Champers says...

Fair point Karl, I always tend to agree with your comments on here but I'm sure most of the oligarchs behind of several of the major teams probably have participated in almost all the activities you have listed above too.

And still misguided fans pay £1000s for season tickets to support the cartel-but that's a different debate :-)
Fair point Karl, I always tend to agree with your comments on here but I'm sure most of the oligarchs behind of several of the major teams probably have participated in almost all the activities you have listed above too. And still misguided fans pay £1000s for season tickets to support the cartel-but that's a different debate :-) Champers
  • Score: 3

11:26pm Sun 23 Feb 14

Friend of the People says...

All that Russian Mafia money that convenienly found its way to these shores. How ever you look at it, it was stolen from the Russian state and the Russian people, Now they can hide behind the British legal system and their media friends.

Meanwhile the British state constantly squeeze our poor and encourage the oligarchs and their friends to have open season. Not much of this is reported in the media.
All that Russian Mafia money that convenienly found its way to these shores. How ever you look at it, it was stolen from the Russian state and the Russian people, Now they can hide behind the British legal system and their media friends. Meanwhile the British state constantly squeeze our poor and encourage the oligarchs and their friends to have open season. Not much of this is reported in the media. Friend of the People
  • Score: -3

4:00pm Tue 25 Feb 14

karlmarx says...

Again I find it quite ironic that this 'disability assessment' private French company claims that it is giving up its 'work' because of alleged death threats it's staff have received....

"The bizarre exit strategy ATOS have developed in identifying apparent physical threats on Facebook despite the growing lists of real deaths caused by the WCA regime is an outrageous insult to all those that have died and all those that have lost family members through this regime. It is an insult to those left without their homes, without money and needing to go to foodbanks. It is an insult to every person who has suffered worsening physical and mental health through this inhuman regime."

A case of being able to dish out the punishment but not take it? As a supporter of the Black Triangle group run by disabled people for disabled people, I am so proud of their achievements in fighting for their right to a dignified and purposeful life.

"This group is established to galvanise opposition to the current vicious attack on the fundamental human rights of disabled people by the Government of the United Kingdom utilising “Work Capability Assessments” (as administered by ‘AtoS Healthcare Ltd’ on behalf of the Department of Work and Pensions ‘DWP’) to re-classify sick and disabled individuals as “fit for work” – in flagrant violation of all  accepted medical, and human, ethical standards.

This crime against sick and/or disabled people is being carried out at the behest of heartless, amoral, opportunistic British political élites, from all sides of the political spectrum, whom obscenely arrogate to themselves the titles of being “just” and “civilised” members of the human race. They merit only the contempt, oppobrium and disgust of all decent, caring people everywhere for their shameful conduct in betraying many of the most vulnerable people in our society in order to make ‘political capital’ – also known as ‘scapegoating’.

Well said Black Triangle!
Again I find it quite ironic that this 'disability assessment' private French company claims that it is giving up its 'work' because of alleged death threats it's staff have received.... "The bizarre exit strategy ATOS have developed in identifying apparent physical threats on Facebook despite the growing lists of real deaths caused by the WCA regime is an outrageous insult to all those that have died and all those that have lost family members through this regime. It is an insult to those left without their homes, without money and needing to go to foodbanks. It is an insult to every person who has suffered worsening physical and mental health through this inhuman regime." A case of being able to dish out the punishment but not take it? As a supporter of the Black Triangle group run by disabled people for disabled people, I am so proud of their achievements in fighting for their right to a dignified and purposeful life. "This group is established to galvanise opposition to the current vicious attack on the fundamental human rights of disabled people by the Government of the United Kingdom utilising “Work Capability Assessments” (as administered by ‘AtoS Healthcare Ltd’ on behalf of the Department of Work and Pensions ‘DWP’) to re-classify sick and disabled individuals as “fit for work” – in flagrant violation of all  accepted medical, and human, ethical standards. This crime against sick and/or disabled people is being carried out at the behest of heartless, amoral, opportunistic British political élites, from all sides of the political spectrum, whom obscenely arrogate to themselves the titles of being “just” and “civilised” members of the human race. They merit only the contempt, oppobrium and disgust of all decent, caring people everywhere for their shameful conduct in betraying many of the most vulnerable people in our society in order to make ‘political capital’ – also known as ‘scapegoating’. Well said Black Triangle! karlmarx
  • Score: -5

8:28pm Tue 25 Feb 14

karlmarx says...

Judging by the negative voting for the previous comment there are a number of people in and around Salisbury who appear to support this vile governments experiment in eugenics, the systematic persecution and exploitation of the less abled, weak and vulnerable to fund the greed of those who caused the economic disaster. Looks like this vile government will have to hire another bunch of foreign mercenaries to carry out their dirty work. My conscience is clear, no blood of the disabled on my hands, quite the opposite in fact.
Judging by the negative voting for the previous comment there are a number of people in and around Salisbury who appear to support this vile governments experiment in eugenics, the systematic persecution and exploitation of the less abled, weak and vulnerable to fund the greed of those who caused the economic disaster. Looks like this vile government will have to hire another bunch of foreign mercenaries to carry out their dirty work. My conscience is clear, no blood of the disabled on my hands, quite the opposite in fact. karlmarx
  • Score: -4

9:15pm Tue 25 Feb 14

karlmarx says...

Let's take a look at the stance of our local MP in Salisbury and see how he supports the less abled, the weak and the vulnerable...

Voted strongly for reducing housing benefit for social tenants deemed to have excess bedrooms.

Voted very strongly against raising welfare benefits at least in line with prices.

Voted very strongly against paying higher benefits over longer periods for those unable to work due to illness or disability.

Voted strongly for a reduction in spending on welfare benefits.


Oh dear, the FACTS reveal that he appears to not live up to the nice guy image we have been led to believe as can be seen. It's your vote, don't waste it again.
Let's take a look at the stance of our local MP in Salisbury and see how he supports the less abled, the weak and the vulnerable... Voted strongly for reducing housing benefit for social tenants deemed to have excess bedrooms. Voted very strongly against raising welfare benefits at least in line with prices. Voted very strongly against paying higher benefits over longer periods for those unable to work due to illness or disability. Voted strongly for a reduction in spending on welfare benefits. Oh dear, the FACTS reveal that he appears to not live up to the nice guy image we have been led to believe as can be seen. It's your vote, don't waste it again. karlmarx
  • Score: -3

10:49am Wed 26 Feb 14

gingin says...

karlmarx wrote:
Judging by the negative voting for the previous comment there are a number of people in and around Salisbury who appear to support this vile governments experiment in eugenics, the systematic persecution and exploitation of the less abled, weak and vulnerable to fund the greed of those who caused the economic disaster. Looks like this vile government will have to hire another bunch of foreign mercenaries to carry out their dirty work. My conscience is clear, no blood of the disabled on my hands, quite the opposite in fact.
The truth hurts that's why they vote in the negative!

I cannot quite believe anyone would vote to take away money from the vulnerable as they need help the most.
[quote][p][bold]karlmarx[/bold] wrote: Judging by the negative voting for the previous comment there are a number of people in and around Salisbury who appear to support this vile governments experiment in eugenics, the systematic persecution and exploitation of the less abled, weak and vulnerable to fund the greed of those who caused the economic disaster. Looks like this vile government will have to hire another bunch of foreign mercenaries to carry out their dirty work. My conscience is clear, no blood of the disabled on my hands, quite the opposite in fact.[/p][/quote]The truth hurts that's why they vote in the negative! I cannot quite believe anyone would vote to take away money from the vulnerable as they need help the most. gingin
  • Score: -4

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