Friday 17 May 2013

Fairer society? You must be joking

If Nick Clegg and other Liberal Democrat ministers want to salvage any credibility for their repeated claim that they are creating a “fairer society”, they should act over the scandal of Atos Healthcare, which has been accused of using unfair methods in assessing people for disability benefits.

The BBC has interviewed Greg Wood, a former Royal Navy doctor, who resigned from Atos earlier this month after working as an assessor for two-and-a-half years:
Dr Wood says he believes Atos assessors are not free to make truly independent recommendations.
He said he felt compelled to speak out because it was “embarrassing to be associated with this shambles”.
“It’s very unfair on the people making claims, they deserve a fair assessment and as a taxpayer I’m pretty cheesed off about the £100m plus that’s being sprayed away on this dog’s breakfast,” he said.
Of course, you might prefer to believe Atos’s denials. If Atos is right, we can expect it to take Dr Wood to court and win. If all we hear from Atos is more PR blather, this scandal will only undermine the coalition’s claims about ‘fairness’.

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