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Thursday, 30 March 2017

Disability benefits shake-up hitting 165,000 people to take force as MPs run out of time to block it - MIRROR 29/03/17


A new law on Personal Independence Payment (PIP) is set to go ahead despite fury from charities and Labour, and a defeat in the House of Lords

By  18:22, 29 MAR 2017 Updated07:37, 30 MAR 2017
 
A disability benefits shake-up hitting 165,000 people is set to take full force after MPs ran out of time to block it.
A new law on Personal Independence Payment (PIP) will go ahead despite fury from charities and Labour, and a defeat in the House of Lords.

Shadow Work and Pensions Secretary Debbie Abrahams was granted an emergency 90-minute debate in the Commons today.
But there was no vote that could actually stop the changes in their tracks.
MPs now leave for their Easter holiday tomorrow - meaning the law is set to reach a 40-day deadline where it automatically passes next week.
Ms Abrahams blasted the government for only scheduling a full vote after that deadline, on April 19.
She conceded: "[The regulations] will not be automatically revoked should the House vote against them on the 19th".
Prime Minister Theresa May has been forced to personally defend the "cut"
Woman in wheelchair waiting at station platform
MPs heard one claimant was told to turn up unshaven to appear more mentally ill
Ms Abrahams told MPs: "What kind of particular arrogance or disregard for democracy is the government revealing?"

Despite the setback she vowed to keep fighting to reverse the law once it takes effect.

"By delaying the debate the government is hoping the objection to these regulations will be kicked into the long grass. It will not," she said.

The new law reverses a tribunal that said 164,000 people who can't leave home without "psychological distress" should get higher benefits.

The government bypassed its own Social Security Advisory Committee - then dismissed the watchdog's call for a further review.

MPs today warned the changes discriminated against the mentally ill.

Tory MP Heidi Allen said: "The courts have given us a loud and clear message today - 'mental health, you’ve got it wrong'.
"And in this age when we are desperately trying to change society and its views on mental health and parity of esteem, we have got to listen to the courts. They have given us a judgement for a reason."

SNP MP Corri Wilson said people had been advised to “turn up dishevelled” and unshaven to PIP assessments to show they were mentally ill.

"This is no way to treat vulnerable people in our society and I am asking the government to reconsider," she said.

Tory Disabilities Minister Penny Mordaunt said just eight people will see their benefit award reduce - the rest will see no change, even though a tribunal said they should receive more.


Penny Mordaunt was accused of "arrogance or disregard for democracy"
She said yesterday: "This is not a policy change or a budget change.
"It will not result in any claimants, regardless of their health conditions, seeing a reduction in the amount of PIP they have been awarded."

But Labour's former welfare reform minister Stephen Timms said: "The changes are clearly a cut.
"They obviously are a cut and they affect a very substantial number of people."

Scope policy chief James Taylor added: "The new regulations make unfair distinctions between those with physical impairments and mental health problems and will only limit vital support for thousands of disabled people that rely on PIP to help meet the often substantial extra costs of disability."

source: http://www.mirror.co.uk/news/politics/disability-benefits-shake-up-hitting-10123365

related:

MUST SEE LINKS! “Revealed: DWP’s secret, ‘financially devastating’ proposals for benefits appeals” + “Terminally ill Northampton woman has appeal over disability benefits refused” + “Former DWP ministers could face police investigation over fit-to-work tests + MORE

https://butlincat.com/2016/04/23/must-see-links-revealed-dwps-secret-financially-devastating-proposals-for-benefits-appeals-terminally-ill-northampton-woman-has-appeal-over-disability-benefits-re/