There have been revelations in the Guardian today that doctors working for Atos, a French, private sector firm, are required to sign the UK Official Secrets Act. The article raises concerns that this may be a measure aimed at preventing future whistleblowers exposing concerns with the administration of the tests.
There is a further irony, the IT wing of ATOS is a partner of this year's Paralympics. For many disabled activists this is an insult as Atos is seen as the government's axe to cut beenfits for disabled people. Some, such as John McArdle, co-founder of Black Triangle, have called for a boycott of the Paralympics unless Atos withdraw from their £100 million contract to administer the work capability assessments. John McArdle is a Scottish Anti-Cuts Coalition (Scottish socialist and anti-cuts candidates, aligned with TUSC), local council candidate in Edingburgh."Atos Healthcare defends blanket security policy for government work amid concerns that whistleblowers may be silenced" Full article: http://www.guardian.co.uk/society/2012/apr/12/atos-doctors-sign-official-secrets-act
Trade Unionist and Socialist Coalition candidates say:
- No cuts in benefits, jobs and public services.
- Sack Atos and scrap the Work Capability Assessment.
- A living wage and provision of respite services for all family carers.
- Provide free health and social care services to all who need them.
- Central government and councils to stop using children and family members as a substitute for professional social services.
- Oppose the closure of the Remploy factories - expand them to create employment.