Archive for the ‘Welfare Reform’ Category

The single killer question from ATOS that drove a woman to suicide

November 27, 2013

Posted by Tom Pride 

Back in January I wrote a satirical blogpost about ATOS reducing their fit for work tests to one question:-

ATOS to reduce ‘fit for work’ test to one question: “Are you alive?”

Now it looks like ATOS have decided my blogpost was a good idea.

A partially-blind and disabled woman had her benefits stopped after she attended an interview with ATOS in which she was asked just one question.

And as a result of her one word answer to the question, the woman killed herself:

Bristol woman “killed herself after benefits were stopped”

What was the single question by ATOS’s so-called ‘expert’ which trumped a lifetime of professional doctor’s opinions and supporting medical evidence?

Did you come here by bus?

A killer question indeed.


Someone remind me – just exactly how many millions are we as taxpayers paying these cowboys at ATOS for this kind of incompetent, dangerous nonsense?


“A Patronising Attitude To Those Living In Poverty”

July 18, 2013

“The idea that the benefit system is overly generous and needs to be capped is ludicrous”.

“The tax-benefit system is unfair to people who are living in poverty. It appears to be generous, but it is not. Most people do not understand how unfair the current system really is”,  says Director of The Centre for Welfare Reform, Simon Duffy in the  centre’s newsletter.

“I recently attended a seminar on welfare reform in London”, Simon says, “where an eminent speaker summarised the welfare state’s function as ‘being for the benefit of the poor.’ Yet her audience (academics, think-tankers, civil servants) seemed, to me at least, to be the real beneficiaries of the welfare state. They were all on very high salaries, all enjoying very nice lifestyles, and all funded by the tax payer.

“It is almost as if, when we work for government we don’t see ourselves as beneficiaries”, Simon continues, “ instead we see ourselves as doing everyone else a favour by offering them our services. We believe we are fully entitled to our own salaries, to our pensions and to our power, whereas ‘the poor’ should think themselves lucky to be getting our services. This is self-deception on a rather grand scale and it encourages a deeply patronising attitude to those who live in poverty.”

Read the full article by clicking on this link here.


Simon Duffy  

Simon is Director of The Centre for Welfare Reform. In addition he is Chair of the Housing & Support Alliance and policy advisor to the Campaign for a Fair Society. Simon is also an Honorary Senior Research Fellow at the University of Birmingham’s Health Service Management Centre.

Simon is a philosopher and social innovator who works to improve the welfare system. He is a regular public speaker and government policy advisor, both nationally and internationally. His awards include the RSA’s Prince Albert Medal and the SPA Award for outstanding contribution to social policy.


October 30, 2011

Watching a BBC TV programme – ‘The Future State of Welfare’ about Social Security and unemployment benefits being cut last week, I heard ex-newscaster John Humphrys interviewing the organiser of a Government ‘back to work’ training scheme for unemployed people designed to equip them with job skills.

This organiser breathlessly gabbling meaningless nonsense about how useful and successful this ‘job training’ was to the hopeless unemployed who turned up in sheer desperation it might somehow magically conjure a job out of thin air earnestly told John Humphrys that part of the training these unemployed people received was ‘decorating cup cakes’.( About from minute 28 of the programme. Not any more ! I’ve just discovered the BBC have pulled the programme. It is no longer available to view. Perhaps it was embarrassing ?)

It was a useful skill, the organiser said because it taught ‘self confidence’ to the unemployed.

“But these are grown up men and women….. are you sure you are not treating them like children” replied John Humphrys, looking poleaxed with sheer wide eyed amazement, clearly scarcely able to believe his ears.

So, all you two and a half million bone idle unemployed layabouts , go out to your nearest Asda supermarket, buy some repulsive and inedible garishly pink iced ready-made cup cakes and jolly well learn to decorate them just as quick as you can.

Then the magic cup cake fairy will wave her magic wand and suddenly there will be loads and loads of really well paid jobs for every idle layabout currently without a job.

All the jobs will be just decorating horrible iced cup cakes all day, but that doesn’t matter because it’s a job innit ? And the good old Government which creates all the millions of other phantom jobs like this will score even more Brownie points with the irretrievably stupid electorate.

Oh, and meanwhile all benefit payments can become slashed by the Government so no unemployed people can have enough money to even survive in abject poverty in order to force them all to go out and gainfully decorate cup cakes.

That way Bankers will become richer and decent people even poorer, but who cares ? Not the people running the country and certainly not the wickedly dishonest bankers who destroyed so many jobs with their uncontrollable. dishonesty, greed and corruption.