Personal Independence Payment Regulations - Statement

Part of the debate – in the House of Lords at 3:39 pm on 15 March 2017.

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Photo of Lord McKenzie of Luton Lord McKenzie of Luton Shadow Spokesperson (Work and Pensions) 3:39, 15 March 2017

My Lords, I thank the Minister for repeating that Answer. The Social Security Advisory Committee expressed the view that outside the DWP there is indeed some confusion regarding the original policy intent of the measures, and that the department had made errors about its intent in submission to an Upper Tribunal. The committee further expressed concern about unintended operational and legal consequences arising from the changes to the mobility descriptors in the regulations that have been made. It drew attention to circumstances where multiple factors make it impossible for someone to follow a journey without help, and where it would be difficult to strip out and exclude psychological distress from other factors.

How does the Minister respond to this issue and to the recommendation that these proposed changes and those relating to managing therapy should be tested with healthcare professionals and decision-makers? Will he commit to doing this before implementation of the regulations that have been laid? Further, can the Minister explain how regarding the consequences of psychological distress is consistent with fostering parity of esteem between those with physical and mental health conditions?