The annual cost of assessments for benefits by private sector companies, Atos, Capita and Maximus now stands at £449 million a year. This represents a fourfold rise in costs.

Figures given to MPs by Sarah Newton, minister for disabled people, show that the rise in costs began in 2014/15 and appears to coincide with the replacement of Atos by Maximus and with the rollout of PIP to existing DLA claimants.

The figures are as follows:

2010/11 £112.8 million

2011/12 £112.4 million

2012/13 £114.3 million

2013/14 £80.7 million

2014/15 £280.4 million

2015/16 £367.8 million

2016/17 £443.8 million

2017/18 £449.3 million

The figures show who has really benefitted from welfare reform. They also explain why any attempt to take assessments back in-house, as is planned in Scotland, is likely to be ferociously resisted in the rest of the UK.


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