the controversial system for assessing whether people are fit for work is failing in its purpose, Edinburgh North and Leith Labour MP Mark Lazarowicz has claimed.
Speaking in a highly-charged debate at Westminster on private company Atos and the work capability assessments for people who are unwell or have a disability, he said there were major flaws in the way the assessments were conducted.
He said: “Many people find the assessment process terrifying and there is plenty of evidence that the process often fails to do exactly what it is designed to do – assess accurately whether someone is capable of working.
“This is especially true where applicants with fluctuating conditions are concerned such as people with mental health problems. “Many applicants feel that it takes away their dignity as a human being and does not lead to proper consideration of their personal circumstances.”
Mr Lazarowicz said the high success rate for appeals – 38 per cent – pointed to major problems in the assessment process. A report from Citizens Advice in January concluded that the ‘level of accuracy in reports is worryingly low’.