This is a press release from Disabled People Against Cuts Caerdydd which will be holding a memorial protest today for those who have died as the result of the Westminster Government's draconian treatment of disabled and chronically sick people as part of their benefits cuts policies.
Disabled People Against Cuts Caerdydd and supporters will gather at the Aneurin Bevan Statue, Queen Street at 5 pm on Monday 3rd December. The event will include the lighting of 1000 candles to remember welsh disabled and sick people who died last year shortly after being told that they were fit for work and having benefits cut by an Atos 'work capability assessment. It may also include 'direct action' such as blocking roads.
The National Day of Remembrance for those killed by ATOS has been supported by disability campaigning organisations including Disabled People Against Cuts, Black Triangle and others. 29 MPs signed an Early Day Motion in support off the day including Welsh MPs, Martin Caton, Anne Clwyd, Jonathan Edwards and Albert Owen.
According to an FOI (Freedom of Information) response publicised by the Daily Mail journalist Sonia Poulton on October 7, the current weekly average Atos/DWP death toll of people found fit for work after an ESA work capability assessment now stands at 73 people per week.
A FOI in April revealed in 2011 an average of 32 dying a week after failing test for new incapacity benefit. More than a thousand sickness benefit claimants died last year after being told to get a job.
There have been numerous horror stories in the media of people with terminal illnesses (in one infamous case even someone in a coma) being declared fit for work by ATOS and having their benefits cut.
'A GRIEVING boy of 13 has accused Atos of killing his disabled dad. Kieran McArdle told the Daily Record in a harrowing letter how his father Brian, 57, collapsed and died the day after his disability benefits were stopped. He had been assessed by Atos and deemed “fit for work”'
'A cancer sufferer, who had her benefits cut by government officials who said she was fit to work, has died'.
'I sought this debate in order to raise the case of one of my constituents, Colin Traynor, who was epileptic. He was assessed as fit for work, yet died less than four months later' (Michael Meacher MP)