Department for Work and Pensions

Part of the debate – in the House of Commons at 2:56 pm on 2nd July 2019.

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Photo of Justin Madders Justin Madders Labour, Ellesmere Port and Neston 2:56 pm, 2nd July 2019

The hon. Gentleman makes a helpful suggestion. Certainly those who have, by definition, a very short time to get these matters sorted due to terminal illness should have as much of the process done at an early stage to avoid such difficulties.

It is highly insensitive that people who have been diagnosed with what can be a devastating condition that will end their life, possibly within 12 months, have to face this extra hoop-jumping when they should be focusing on spending what time they have left with their loved ones.

The majority of people with motor neurone disease are awarded the enhanced rate of PIP anyway, so we need to make it easier for them to claim through SRTI instead of the standard route, which many are currently going down. There are a number of helpful suggestions that we can discuss with the Minister next week.

My hon. Friend Alison McGovern spoke passionately and eloquently about the Women Against State Pension Inequality Campaign. She rightly drew attention to the scandal, which will not go away. The WASPI women are there, and they are growing in number. She is right that, while the Tory leadership candidates continue to spaff cash up the wall with spending promises on tax cuts for the most well off in society, for big corporations and for whatever else they decide when they wake up in the morning, it is damning that not one penny has been committed in the leadership hustings to the WASPI women.

Ultimately, it comes down to priorities, and it is clear that WASPI women are not a priority for this Government and will not be a priority for the new Prime Minister, either. The hardship, the injustice and the erosion of the contributory principle that underpins the welfare state are clearly not a priority for this Government, and it is to their shame that they continue to ignore this campaign in the face of overwhelming evidence that a real injustice is being done.