Opinion: Benefit cuts blind man committed suicide after Atos ruled him fit to work-Mirror Online-John Gelmini

Atos - Paralympic -Games - London 2012 - Stats

Atos – Paralympic -Games – London 2012 – Stats (Photo credit: Atos International)

This is shocking but “social values” and the concept of “public service” is beginning to represent the products of a bygone age which Dr Alf and people like myself can just about remember but which went the way of the lofty ideals espoused by Beveridge and that great long dead Edwardian gentleman, Harold Macmillan.

Today, on page 31 of edition 1356 of the satirical magazine, Private Eye, I discovered an article under
“fitness to work tests” entitled “In the Drink” which covers the case of Heather Margaret Macbean a nurse employed by ATOS, who the DWP outsource work capability assessment work to.

According to Private Eye, she was dismissed for gross misconduct in July after colleagues complained that she had turned up for work one morning smelling of alcohol. By the afternoon, she was reported to have been slurring her words, her eyes were glazed and the “quality of her work had deteriorated”. Two of her managers concluded that a bottle she had been drinking from contained wine mixed with water.

The Nursing and Midwifery Council (NMC), has since suspended the nurse for 18 months while it investigates her conduct. They, (NMC), concluded that she posed a “High risk of repetition and a serious risk and danger to the public” if she continued working as a nurse.

ATOS was not at that point in time prepared to carry out its own investigation, even though Macbean had been doing assessments of work capability for at least 6 months in Manchester and Preston.

ATOS said it did not discuss individual members of staff but that it relied on its “rigorous checks within the system”, and that any problems with an individual’s work would have been picked up by normal auditing.

Under ATOS about 40% of appeals against their work capability assessments are upheld so if one takes the alleged case of this dismissed former ATOS nurse as a rare exception it begs the question as to what has been happening the rest of the time.

John Gelmini

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Opinion: Big society? Cutting welfare to ‘aid recovery’ is just a big lie|The Observer-John Gelmini

The “Big Society” was always a fiction based on David Cameron‘s idea of getting people to volunteer as his mother did as a lay magistrate.

The concept works with middle class and wealthy retired people who have the private income to be able to afford to engage in do-goodery but it does not work for those who have to work for a living.

It would require Government money to pump prime its roll-out and then philanthropic donations from the super wealthy to work.

Neither of these has been or is forthcoming so the Big Society will simply not happen.
Moving on to Dr Alf’s question, the


London (Photo credit: @Doug88888)

so-called “welfare reforms” are not working and cannot work because as things stand 47 people chase every vacancy,the population is rising and more illegal and legal immigrants are coming here even though we have no homes to put them in.

Housing benefit will only fall if the supply of houses is increased or Housing Benefit recipients are put in converted shipping containers at £3000 gbp a throw as opposed to average private sector rents for a 1 person dwelling for a single person outside London of £500 gbp a month or £6000 gbp a year every year until the grim reaper strikes.

Adult Social Care now eats up 50% of local authority budgets within county councils, unitary authorities, city councils, metropolitan boroughs and the London Boroughs and woman over 65 constitute the largest and fastest growing element of the NHS budget because of dementia and diabetes partially caused by the fact that many of them are far too heavy and in the past, led a debauched pot- fueled lifestyle in the 1960s.

Universal Credit will not work either because too many benefit recipients do not know how to budget and are feckless, something which payday lenders are all too aware of.

What will reduce the benefits bill is more blue collar jobs, moving long term unemployed people into areas where work exists, a systems building boom whereby unemployed benefit recipients can be assigned to construction companies and the issuance of infrastructure bonds to allow Sovereign Wealth Funds to finance the airports, schools, roads and hospitals we need but cannot afford.

More of the unemployed could be assigned to construction companies on benefit recycling programs to undertake this work.

Some of the unemployed could be trained in languages using Pimsleur fastrack courses and then sent abroad under new forms of assisted migration programs with relevant countries.

Faster writing down allowances and accelerators for plant, machinery and equipment would encourage expansion if combined with a Singapore style corporate tax regime and an amnesty to encourage the £trillions secreted offshore to be brought back onshore and used to employ people rather than being transmuted into gold, jewels and investment property.

The High Street Clearers need to be made to compete with newer entrants and foreign banks to effect more business lending to creditworthy SMEs as opposed to sitting on their hands.

John Gelmini

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