Campaigners united today Friday 9 August to take action against the Personal Independent Payment (PIPs) test regime of the Department for work and pensions (DWP). The target for action was the SALUS office, 348-382 Argyle Street. An occupation took place with younger and older citizens closing down the centre for over an hour. Speeches, chants and placards were heard and seen by interested passers-by. The message was given clear that cuts to benefits, punishing the sick and disabled, would be fought no matter who was implementing or collaborating with them.
Between April 2013 – September 2017 the most severely sick and disabled people in Britain, currently claiming Disability Living Allowance (DLA), will undergo assessments for the PIPs which is replacing it. The Government’s aim is to cut DLA costs for working age claimants by 20% with an estimated half a million disabled people losing their entitlement to key services and support.
The private multinational Atos have been awarded contracts of £400mn to carry out these PIPs assessments (£238mn of this for testing people in Scotland, Northwest and Northeast England). Since 2007 Atos have been hired by the Labour and ConDem Governments for the purpose of finding incapacity benefit claimants fit for work regardless of their physical or mental condition. Atos have served as a useful distraction for the fact that it is a government agency, the DWP, which structures the dehumanising and degrading computer tests claimants’ face. Now it is the turn of the private sector to hide behind the public sector. Fearing greater opposition and notoriety Atos have sub contracted SALUS, a body of NHS Lanarkshire, for £22mn, to implement the PIPs assessments in Scotland.
Whilst the announcement by Atos is a victory for campaigners who have succeeded in blackening their name the sick and disabled will continue to suffer the same DWP structured tests and cuts but this time under a cloak of NHS respectability.
GLASGOW AGAINST ATOS IS TAKING ACTION TO OPPOSE ALL CUTS!
JOIN US! FUTURE EVENTS BELOW.
Next campaign meeting
Tuesday 20 August, 7-9pm
Unite Union Building,
John Smith House,
145/165 West Regent Street,
Support the Glasgow Against Atos 2 Defence Campaign
Court protest at trial,
Tuesday 1 October, 9-10am
Glasgow Sheriff Court