Perhaps he was simply so "misguided" that he has no idea about the details of his government's own policy. Either possibility is unacceptable.
-Firstly he claimed that "The assessment was designed to take account of chronic and fluctuating conditions. It is not intended to be a snapshot but looks at what someone can do reliably, repeatedly and safely."
It was not, it does not and Professor Harrington is yet to even report on fluctuating conditions. A recent Work and Pensions Committee criticised how fluctuating conditions are currently assessed. I urge the Lord to check with ATOS exactly what definition of "reliably, repeatedly and safely" are at the present time.
-Secondly, he claimed "It takes account of the effects of pain and fatigue."
Nowhere, on either the ESA50 form or on the descriptors set to decide an award is a claimant asked about pain or fatigue. You can check here http://www.tameside.gov.uk/esa/wca It is one of the biggest complaints that claimants have. Most symptoms are discounted from the assessment and Lord Freud was simply not telling the truth.
-Thirdly he claimed "all available evidence, including that from GPs or specialists, is fully considered by the department's decision-makers."
Yet according to Professor Harrington, this has only been the case in 2% of cases. (http://www.publications.parliament.uk/pa/cm201012/cmselect/cmworpen/1015/101508.htm Section 5, No.124) ( Whilst ministers assure us this will be changed, to say that is currently the case is untrue.
Finally, Dame Tanni Grey-Thompson had bought to his attention an assessment centre in Croydon that was inaccessible to the disabled. His response was
"My Lords, I will follow up the Croydon situation. I was not aware of it, even though I was brought up in south Croydon."
In fact, according to ATOS themselves and Freedom of Information requests, there are 29 inaccessible disability assessment centres. http://blacktrianglecampaign.org/2011/10/19/wheelchair-users-have-to-climb-a-flight-of-stairs-to-prove-they-are-disabled-enough-to-get-benefits-at-a-centre-in-croydon/
I would argue that Lord Freud SHOULD have been aware of this situation. It is farcical and entirely representative of the system sick and disabled people find themselves drowning in. Campaigners such as Black Triangle have been raising this issue for years. Perhaps if he ever bothered to listen to us, rather than dismissing us as irrelevant he might find he did learn something after all.
Lord Freud - You may have noticed that we are watching you. We report on every committee, read every report. You will have to do much, much better than this in your responses on sickness and disability.