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‘Seven medals but now the Tories want my benefits’ ~ British Paralympic Gold Medalist Tara Flood Speaks Out

Posted on August 28, 2012 by JJ http://blacktrianglecampaign.org/2012/08/28/seven-medals-but-now-the-tories-want-my-benefits-british-paralympic-gold-medalist-tara-flood-speaks-out/

Paralympic swimmer Tara Flood faces Atos tests that could lead to a benefits cut (Pic: Guy Smallman)

Paralympic winner speaks out and says get Atos out of the Games

Paralympic gold medallist and world record holder Tara Flood faces a test that could see her lose her disability benefits, she told Socialist Worker.

Tara is a seven-time Paralympic medallist. In 1992 she set a world record for 50 metres breaststroke that still stands today.

But that hasn’t saved her from the Tories’ harsh benefits clampdown.

“I’ve already had my letter,” she said. “At some point next year it will be my turn to be assessed.”

Tara is one of hundreds of thousands of people in the Tories’ sights as they try to slash benefits for sick and disabled people.

She said that receiving Disability Living Allowance made a huge difference to her everyday life.

“Without it I wouldn’t be able to get out of the house,” she said. “It’s a fundamental benefit, not linked to work.”

Hypocrisy

As the Paralympics begin, Tara pointed out the government’s hypocrisy. “They’re calling us scroungers and benefit cheats at the same time as they celebrate the Paralympics,” she said. “It’s like disabled people are either elite athletes or workshy scroungers.”

Tara spoke out on a protest against Atos, the private firm that carries out humiliating assessments to decide who gets benefits and who doesn’t.

Incredibly, Atos is an official sponsor of the Paralympics. “Atos destroys disabled people’s lives,” Tara said. “It gets me so angry.

“It is carrying out a government contract and a government agenda to punish disabled people for the financial crisis. It’s no coincidence that hate crime against disabled people has increased massively since the coalition government came in.”

But Tara added that this week’s action against Atos could encourage more resistance against the Tories.

“It’s a scary time,” she said. “But there’s a growing backlash against the government’s right wing agenda. So many people who would never have gone out and protested before are saying enough is enough.”

Thanks you A for highlighting the work of Atos and how they are putting the fear of the gods into the disabled regarding their benefits.

I do hope the demonstrations this week do highlight the plight of all us disabled & chronically sick individuals. We must not forget we are not just disabled but chronically sick too.

take care,

bren

x

Thankyou for posting this.

luv POllx

Excellent article and good on her for speaking out!

Thanks for posting.

Pat x

Thank you for this article, just hope people take notice.

Wendyx

Seems that atos are not getting the publicity that they hoped for.

Are the Atossers so arrogant that they can’t see the supreme irony in sponsoring the Paralympics? Now if they could just shoot themselves in the head, as well as foot.

thanks for this article, I couldn’t believe it when I heard they where sponsors, cheeky B**GERS, Jean x

That was a certainty. I despise the hyper hippocrits who loved the Gold Medal won in the Trap Shooting and now the do gooders are trying to get the country pursuit magazines moved to ‘the top shelf’, lest children think of committing armed robbery with a pair of matched Purdys,or Ram Raiding on horseback

Wb