Islington Council Leader, Cllr Richard Watts, has condemned the ‘complacent, dismissive’ response the Minister of State for Disabled People has given to Islington’s declaration of no confidence in Atos.
In October, Islington became the first local authority in the country to directly challenge the Government over Atos’ poor performance in determining eligibility for benefits.
Cllr Richard Watts wrote to the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions Iain Duncan Smith with details of the wrong decisions Atos are making and the damaging impact on some of Islington’s most vulnerable residents.
The response from Mike Penning MP dismisses these concerns and insists that “when a Tribunal overturns a DWP decision it is not necessarily because that decision was wrong”.
Speaking at an International Day of Disabled People event in Islington Assembly Hall, Cllr Richard Watts tore up the letter in disgust and said: “I’m extremely angry about what was a complacent response by the government to a very real issue. Almost 90 per cent of the people we have supported have been successful in appealing Atos’ decisions, which suggests a massive problem with the quality of work”.
“We want the Minister of State for Disabled People to respond properly – not just send us PR spin”
“We’ll keep gathering even more evidence of the wrong decisions Atos are making and sending it to the government until they sit up and listen”
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