Social Security and Employment Support for Disabled People

Part of the debate – in the House of Commons at 1:05 pm on 6th March 2019.

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Photo of Sarah Newton Sarah Newton The Minister of State, Department for Work and Pensions 1:05 pm, 6th March 2019

I thank the hon. Gentleman for his questions. I should like to reassure him that I do indeed work with my opposite number in the Scottish Government, and that we are working closely together as we go through the process of devolving PIP and other benefits to Scotland. Actually, we are testing and learning a great deal from each other. The UK Government are investing a great deal in health and work trials, and we work collaboratively on those. We are always prepared to learn from any part of the United Kingdom. I absolutely agree that too many people are having their decisions overturned on appeal—we want to ensure that we get all the decisions right first time—but it is worth keeping this in perspective, because 10% of all PIP claims go to appeal and only 5% are overturned. However, as I always say from the Dispatch Box, one person’s poor experience is one too many. We have been doing a lot of work with the Courts and Tribunals Service to bring down waiting times, and I hope that all Members will join me in welcoming the fact that we now have a new PIP online appeal service. Since November, people can resolve their appeals online, which is enabling far swifter resolution of those issues.