My hon. Friend is absolutely right. There are long-term issues with the PIP assessment process as a whole. I will address that later. It is interesting that the Government let out yesterday that they will make an announcement, following a recent review, tomorrow, just as we rise for recess.
On Monday, the other place debated and passed a regret motion tabled by my noble Friend Baroness Sherlock, asking the Government to reconsider the regulations urgently, but the elected House of Commons has been denied that opportunity during the vital praying-against period. As I have said, that is very worrying behaviour by the Government.
The Minister for Disabled People, Health and Work claims that the changes restore PIP to its original policy intentions, but that does not hold water. During the PIP consultation in 2012, Ministers were quoted on numerous occasions saying that mental health conditions would be given parity with physical health conditions as part of the PIP assessment. For example, Esther McVey said that the PIP
“assessment is being designed to consider…physical, sensory, mental, intellectual and cognitive impairments.”—[Official Report,
Vol. 554, c. 147W.]