Personal Independence Payment: Regulations

Part of the debate – in the House of Commons at 3:44 pm on 29th March 2017.

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Photo of Debbie Abrahams Debbie Abrahams Shadow Secretary of State for Work and Pensions 3:44 pm, 29th March 2017

My hon. Friend makes an excellent point. That is what we have been trying to do since the emergency regulations were laid before Parliament.

Let us remind ourselves how the emergency regulations were introduced and what they have changed. The regulations, which were laid before the House on 23 February and came into force two weeks ago, amended the legislation under which disabled people or people with a chronic condition are assessed for eligibility for personal independence payments. The new regulations followed two upper tribunal rulings. The first judgment on 28 November 2016 held that needing support to take medication and monitor a health condition should be scored in the same way as needing support to manage therapy, such as dialysis, undertaken at home. The second, also on 28 November, ruled that people who find it difficult to leave their house because of severe psychological distress should receive the enhanced rate of support under the mobility component of PIP.

In a letter to me last week, the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions said that he became aware of the rulings on 8 December. Two and a half months later, the Government laid their emergency legislation before Parliament. I am sure that the irony of something taking two and a half months in an “emergency” has not been lost on you, Mr Speaker. During those two and a half months, not only were the Government unable to bring the regulations before the House, but they also bypassed their own Social Security Advisory Committee. They have ignored SSAC’s recommendations on wider engagement, testing or piloting changes, and the analysis of impacts.