The following letter from Hardest Hit campaigner Malcolm H Mort was printed in the South Wales Echo on Monday 18 February 2013:
I was pleased to discover that the MPs are criticising the Department for Work and Pensions disability benefits tests.
With the Public Accounts Committee saying that the Work Capability Assessments were resulting in too many wrong decisions which were later overturned by claimants’ appeals, my claim that the Atos medical examinations are not reliable seems to be confirmed.
Its chair Margaret Hodge accused the DWP of being “unduly complacent” and of hurting the “most vulnerable.”
The committee found that 38% of appeals against the DWP’s decisions had been successful.
Considering that Atos was paid £112.4m to carry out 738,000 assessments in 2011/12, I find that 38% to be damning evidence of the gross ineptness of this Government.
The Public Accounts Committee blames Atos and the DWP. However, should they not be blaming the Government for the benefits legislation they have produced?
This legislation has ignored the advice of specialists who submitted information and advice for the various government consultation papers and studies.
Having been involved in that consultation myself, I now see that the criteria of the studies was about exploiting disabled, deprived and unemployed people.
Only a few weeks ago the walking distance to qualify for mobility benefit was reduced from 50 to 20 metres to restrict the number of people qualifying. People need to be very careful because there is provision for the PIP conditions to continue to be altered as required.
Malcolm H Mort
RNIB Cymru Member and Hardest Hit Member
Read more: Wales Online http://www.walesonline.co.uk/news/letters-to-the-editor/south-wales-echo-letters/2013/02/18/funding-is-vital-so-that-shopmobility-can-support-our-disabled-91466-32826458/#ixzz2LR7Ya3th