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 Henley Lord Henley Lord in Waiting (HM Household) (Whip), The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Work and Pensions 3:39, 15 March 2017

My Lords, the original policy intentions were set out quite clearly during the passage of the legislation. The noble Lord will remember that far better than I do. That was then set out in the legislation—and in secondary legislation. However, as he is aware, the Upper Tribunal made it clear that there was, as I think it put it, a lack of clarity in the regulations as we set them out. That is what, I hope, we put right in the regulations we laid a week or so ago and which come into effect tomorrow.

The noble Lord asked whether there would be further consultations on that. Obviously, my honourable friend the Minister for Disabled People and others within the department will continue to keep an open dialogue with all those involved to make sure that our policy intentions are correctly applied and that these things are dealt with as clearly as possible.

The noble Lord also doubted whether there was the appropriate parity between mental and physical conditions. He alleged that there was a lack of parity, which we want to achieve. I believe that there is parity because we are looking not at the conditions but at the overall needs of individuals. In other words, it is not some specific complaint that the individual suffers from but how it affects how they get on with their lives. That applies equally—hence the parity—to those with mental and physical conditions.