This cartoon was clearly devised before the latest figures came out. They are diabolical and make the punchline here look quaint in its optimism.
According to an FOI (Freedom of Information) response publicised by the 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.
I don’t know if this is an increase on the 32 per week average that was originally put out for the period January to August 2011, or if it includes that period and runs up to the present. If the latter, then that makes a total of 6,643 deaths in this tiny part of the welfare sector alone, since the beginning of last year.
The horror stories are still coming in. Among the worst I’ve seen is this, from Michael Meacher MP: “Mr. D had diabetes, heart condition, and lymphoedema. The DWP made three appointments for him because he had major walking difficulties. The DWP then agreed that he could complete the ESA form in his car, though he had asked the DWP officer to come out to complete the form, which was refused.
“Mr. D died while completing the form.”
If you’re reading this and thinking how glad you are that they’re not taking your livelihood away, just remember this: They will come for you eventually. The time to take action against this brutality is now.