Link to this page: http://www.socialistparty.org.uk/issue/795/18012
Protest against Atos 'assessments' on 19 February
Ben Golightly, Swansea Socialist Party
Protests are planned to take place outside Atos assessment centres across the country. On 19 February, disabled people and their allies will again express their disgust and anger at the flawed and harmful Work Capability Assessments, welfare cuts, and the cruel sanctions regime.
To add insult to injury, the Atos chief executive has taken a 14% pay rise while low-paid PCS members working for the company have had to strike for fair pay.
Since the last big national protest in 2012, disabled people and anti-cuts groups have developed their networks.
This is reflected in a greater reach for the protests with, for example, twice as many Welsh cities taking part this year.
The NUS Disabled Students Campaign is now involved as well as the growing Unite the Union Community membership.
All cuts are disabling: adult and community learning plays a massive role in helping people with mental health and wellbeing.
Wales has the highest rate of unemployment in the UK and the highest proportion of adults with disabilities limiting ability to work.
However, the Welsh government is now prepared to implement a massive 37.5% cut to adult community learning and a 33% cut to part-time further education on top of a 4% cut to local authority budgets.
This is just one more reason why austerity must be defeated and we need representatives who vote against all cuts rather than just pass them on.
To take part in the protests, search Facebook for "Atos National Demo @ Your City".
In The Socialist 22 January 2014:
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