Runcorn & Widnes Weekly News - - Yourviews - Tr­ish Richards

● THE firms Atos and Capita have earned over £500m of tax­payer cash run­ning a hated Tory scheme to as­sess peo­ple for dis­abil­ity ben­e­fits.

The DWP say Per­sonal In­de­pen­dence Pay­ment (PIP) is de­signed to help dis­abled peo­ple live in­de­pen­dently, re­plac­ing Dis­abil­ity Liv­ing Al­lowance (DLA).

The as­sess­ment process causes huge dis­tress.

In March, a re­port by the pow­er­ful Pub­lic Ac­counts Com­mit­tee warned that the sys­tem could present ‘a real risk to value for money’ and ques­tioned why the cost of as­sess­ments had risen.

Labour’s shadow wel­fare min­is­ter Alex Cun­ning­ham said: “In­stead of hold­ing their con­trac­tors to ac­count for in­cor­rect as­sess­ments... Gov­ern­ment are pay­ing them even more tax­pay­ers’ money.”

One could sus­pect that these com­pa­nies are driven by a profit mo­tive.

Get the as­sess­ment done rather than done prop­erly.

Thou­sands of their ex­pen­sive de­ci­sions are be­ing over­turned on ap­peal.

61% of 90,000 claimants who ap­pealed a PIP de­ci­sion won their case.

The sys­tem has been ac­cused of leav­ing thou­sands of sick and dis­abled peo­ple high and dry.

A Capita spokesman said: “Capita car­ries out PIP as­sess­ments ac­cord­ing to Depart­ment For Work And Pen­sions (DWP) guide­lines and pro­fes­sional codes of con­duct.”

These prof­i­teers are fol­low­ing Tory codes of con­duct when deal­ing with vul­ner­a­ble peo­ple which does not fill me with con­fi­dence.

Ken Dodd has worked tire­lessly for lo­cal char­i­ties for most of his ca­reer

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