Personal Independence Payments: Supreme Court Ruling

Part of the debate – in the House of Commons at 12:39 pm on 23rd July 2019.

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Photo of Margaret Greenwood Margaret Greenwood Shadow Secretary of State for Work and Pensions 12:39 pm, 23rd July 2019

This landmark judgment by the Supreme Court should act as a serious wake-up call for the Government.

According to Mind, more than 425,000 people with conditions classed as psychiatric disorders have been turned down for PIP. What percentage of those people would have been successful in the light of this judgment? Will the Minister be clear that the Government will look again at those cases where people have been turned down?

The assessment framework for PIP is not fit for purpose and has created a hostile environment for disabled people. After the ruling, Mind commented:

“Far too many are struggling to claim benefits they need because of draconian assessments, which often fail to take fully into account the impact a mental health problem can have.”

Does the Minister agree? Many people with mental health problems can feel socially isolated, so surely the Government should be providing a system that supports people in need.

It was revealed recently that more than 60,000 appeals against the tests for PIP ruled against the Government in 2018. That is 72% of all tribunals. Clearly this is wholly unjust. The fact that such a high proportion of PIP assessments are overturned on appeal speaks volumes about the failings of the Government’s record when it comes to providing support to disabled people. Ill and disabled people should not have to fight through the courts to receive the support that they are entitled to. Ministers at the Ministry of Justice recently revealed that the Government spent £26.5 million in 2018 on PIP hearings that ruled against the Department. The Minister must surely also be aware that the introduction of PIP has ended up costing the taxpayer more than the system it replaced, so will he commit today to scrapping the cruel and discredited PIP assessment framework and replacing it with one that treats disabled people with the respect they deserve and provides them with the support they need?