Results 1–20 of 1128 for (in the 'Commons debates' OR in the 'Westminster Hall debates' OR in the 'Lords debates' OR in the 'Northern Ireland Assembly debates') speaker:Sarah Newton

Disability Confident Scheme — [Andrew Rosindell in the Chair] (10 Jan 2018)

Sarah Newton: It is a pleasure to serve under your chairmanship, Mr Rosindell. I add my warm congratulations on securing the debate to all those expressed by other hon. Members towards my hon. Friend the Member for Ochil and South Perthshire (Luke Graham). This is one of those rare occasions in Parliament when we have much agreement. My hon. Friend did a splendid job of outlining the Government’s...

Disability Confident Scheme — [Andrew Rosindell in the Chair] (10 Jan 2018)

Sarah Newton: I appreciate that intervention because I can clarify that that already exists. Access to Work can be used in all of those circumstances. Perhaps in the past not all of the job coaches in all of the jobcentres knew about that. We have made a massive investment in training our job coaches so that they are fully aware of all of these opportunities, and we have trained additional specialist...

Independent Living Fund — [Mrs Anne Main in the Chair] (9 Jan 2018)

Sarah Newton: It is a pleasure to serve under your chairmanship, Mrs Main, and I appreciate that reminder. I welcome the debate secured this afternoon by the hon. Member for Wrexham (Ian C. Lucas). It is important, and I agree with him: although I have been in the House seven years, and obviously we legislate for a lot of changes, we do not spend enough time going back over them to see whether they...

Independent Living Fund — [Mrs Anne Main in the Chair] (9 Jan 2018)

Sarah Newton: The hon. Gentleman raises a good point. We transferred the money for that purpose—I was going to come to this point later in my speech, but I will say it now. The hon. Gentleman gave various numbers for losses, cuts, and people not receiving money that came from the research that he has done, including work with third-party organisations. Before this debate I asked him to come and see...

Independent Living Fund — [Mrs Anne Main in the Chair] (9 Jan 2018)

Sarah Newton: As I said, we are spending more than £7 billion more than in 2010, and the changes we have made to the personal independence payment mean that more people are now eligible for support. People with conditions such as multiple sclerosis and those with variable conditions are now eligible, as are people with mental health problems. We have widened the range of people with health conditions...

Independent Living Fund — [Mrs Anne Main in the Chair] (9 Jan 2018)

Sarah Newton: I am grateful to my hon. Friend for pointing that out. The numbers clearly show a significant contribution to helping people live independently, but these things are not the only things we are doing. He is completely right to talk about enabling people to play their full part in society, including in work, and I am delighted that so many more disabled people are in work. The vast majority of...

Independent Living Fund — [Mrs Anne Main in the Chair] (9 Jan 2018)

Sarah Newton: We definitely have two pieces of work under way. One is part of adult social care and is about the care of elderly people, and one is for working-age disabled people. That is incredibly important. We are always looking to see what more we can do to support disabled people to live as independent a life as possible, and I also want to ensure that, as we look ahead, we draw on the lessons we...

Oral Answers to Questions — Work and Pensions: Rights of Disabled People (18 Dec 2017)

Sarah Newton: We are committed to improving the lives of disabled people, both in the UK and through our international development work, and we are constructively considering the UN’s recommendations going forward. We intend to provide an update to the UN next summer, as requested.

Oral Answers to Questions — Work and Pensions: Rights of Disabled People (18 Dec 2017)

Sarah Newton: We are absolutely committed to disabled people. We are world leaders in disability rights. We were disappointed that the UN did not consider all the information that we provided, and we strongly rebut much of what it had to say. I am sure that the hon. Lady will join me in welcoming the excellent work on reviewing PIP that was published today by Paul Gray, which sets out a whole series of...

Oral Answers to Questions — Work and Pensions: Rights of Disabled People (18 Dec 2017)

Sarah Newton: I thank my hon. Friend for his question. I absolutely confirm that I will work with disabled people and organisations that work with disabled people. I pay tribute to the excellent work that my hon. Friend did when he held my position. I am sure that we will continue to build on the work that he did and will ensure that more disabled people have the opportunity to fulfil their full potential...

Oral Answers to Questions — Work and Pensions: Rights of Disabled People (18 Dec 2017)

Sarah Newton: I thank the right hon. Gentleman for raising this very sad case. Clearly something went wrong in that individual case. I look forward to answering questions and spending time with his Select Committee later this week. I point him to the response to Paul Gray’s evaluation of PIP that I published today. I am sure we will have more time to look at that in detail, but we remain utterly...

Oral Answers to Questions — Work and Pensions: Rights of Disabled People (18 Dec 2017)

Sarah Newton: My hon. and learned Friend raises an important point. Of course, PIP is a benefit that is available to people in work and out of work, and it is there to support everyone with the additional costs of their disability. Of course, mobility is really important. There is also the excellent Access to Work scheme, which each year is funding more people, enabling them to play their full part in...

Oral Answers to Questions — Work and Pensions: Personal Independence Payments (18 Dec 2017)

Sarah Newton: The DWP does not set a target for processing PIP claims. The Department takes all reasonable steps to obtain evidence of claimants’ individual needs, including independent assessment. We make decisions as quickly as possible based on the available information in order to reach the right outcome. I am sure that my right hon. Friend will be pleased to know, as I was, that the median time...

Oral Answers to Questions — Work and Pensions: Personal Independence Payments (18 Dec 2017)

Sarah Newton: My right hon. Friend raises a very important question, but the Department takes the view that, because we are appealing the decision and it is based on an error of law, that really would not be appropriate. I just want to reassure him and all hon. Members that there are always exceptions, and this could arise where a suspension would cause financial hardship. For most benefits, this is...

Oral Answers to Questions — Work and Pensions: Personal Independence Payments (18 Dec 2017)

Sarah Newton: I would be very pleased to meet the hon. Lady and her constituents to talk about that case or to listen to their concerns more widely, but we really should put the situation in context: 8% of decisions are appealed and 4% of them are upheld. I am very aware that behind every statistic is a person, but it is actually a small percentage of the millions of people who do receive their benefits,...

Oral Answers to Questions — Work and Pensions: Personal Independence Payments (18 Dec 2017)

Sarah Newton: I thank the hon. Lady for her question. As I have said before, I am really delighted with the review and to have received its findings. We have accepted all the findings in the review. At the moment, those reports are available, so that everyone can request them. We do not think it is a good use of taxpayers’ money to provide them to people who are happy with the result, who will not be...

Oral Answers to Questions — Work and Pensions: Personal Independence Payments: Mental Health (18 Dec 2017)

Sarah Newton: The claiming process for personal independence payment was co-produced with disabled people, carers and organisations supporting them, including mental health charities. We will continue to explore opportunities to monitor and improve the process, making use of customer testing and engagement with disability groups.

Oral Answers to Questions — Work and Pensions: Personal Independence Payments: Mental Health (18 Dec 2017)

Sarah Newton: I pay tribute to Rethink and its campaign—I have read the findings of its survey with interest—as well as to Mind. These organisations are key stakeholders that help the Department to get these things right. No, I do not want people to be stressed by the process, which is why we are implementing a wide range of reforms that we have worked on with our stakeholders. We will make a...

Oral Answers to Questions — Work and Pensions: Personal Independence Payments: Mental Health (18 Dec 2017)

Sarah Newton: I thank the hon. Lady for her comment. We keep the process under constant review, and we have it independently assessed to make sure that, if there are any problems at all, we will work to overcome them. However, I can assure her that, compared with the previous benefit—disability living allowance—many more PIP recipients with mental health conditions are getting the enhanced rates.

Oral Answers to Questions — Work and Pensions: Contracted-out Health Assessments (18 Dec 2017)

Sarah Newton: We are committed to ensuring that claimants receive high-quality, accurate assessments. We monitor assessment quality through independent audit. Decision makers can return reports for rework or additional advice. A range of measures, including provider improvement plans, address performance failings when we experience standards below what we want. We continually look to improve the assessment...


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