Chesterfield expected to host demo against Atos welfare assessments

NEWS: News.
NEWS: News.

Campaigners are holding nationwide protests - including one in Chesterfield - to highlight an alleged failure of fit-for-work tests for sick and elderly benefit claimants by the Government appointed Atos Healthcare.

The protests are expected at 144 locations used by Atos to carry out Work Capability Assessments under a contract written by the Department for Work and Pensions.

A protest was planned outside Beetwell House, on Beetwell Street, Chesterfield, from 8am, today, Wednesday, February 19, but at 8.30am there was no one in attendance yet despite a police presence.

Protestors claim that the DWP has statistics showing that between January 2011 and November 2011 10,600 claimants died within six weeks of being declared fit for work by Atos and that Atos declares people fit for work when they are not able.

Those involved in demonstrations are demanding an apology from Work and Pensions Secretary Iain Duncan Smith to the families of benefit claimants who took their own lives after decisions made by Atos.

Labour MP Hilary Benn said: “As the Labour opposition we have called Atos a disgrace and said they should be sacked. The system needs to change.”