In a sign of increased hostility from the con-dem government to disabled people and benefit claimants it appears private prison company G4S is currently trialling medical testing for the New Personal Independence Payment (PIP).
G4S are an international security company who run prisons, prisoner transportation and immigration detention centres amongst other things. Three G4S security guards are currently accused of causing the death of Jimmy Mubenga, who died during his forcible deportation on a British Airways flight to Angola. All round bastards in other words.
The PIP is set to replace Disability Living Allowance, a non means tested benefit for people with disabilities and long term health conditions. The aim to to cut the budget by 20%. It has already been made clear this will be achieved by more stringent medical eligibility testing, probably along the lines of the brutal work currently being carried out by Atos. It has been made clear that only in the most extreme exceptions will a condition or disability be deemed so serious that the individual may be exempt from testing. Everyone claiming will also be subject to regular retesting, even for incurable conditions.
G4S are already moving into the Welfare Sector and currently operate a Welfare To Work scheme in the North East. There core business however is security and boast they: “draw on our global experience of working with governments to secure government buildings and key assets around the world, support the justice and security strategies of nations and ensure that government personnel are well prepared to operate in some of the world’s conflict hotspots”.
Are disabled people and benefit claimants the new enemy within?