Personal Independence Payment Applications

Part of the debate – in Westminster Hall at 5:24 pm on 17th June 2015.

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Photo of Kate Green Kate Green Shadow Minister (Work and Pensions) 5:24 pm, 17th June 2015

What would give disabled people the most reassurance is if the Minister categorically said this afternoon that PIP will not be subject to the proposed £12 billion of cuts. Perhaps he will take that opportunity.

Finally, will the Minister say what progress has been made with the independent reviewer’s recommendations? Paul Gray highlighted a disjointed claimant journey, a lack of trust in the process and a lack of transparency. He also highlighted the nonsense of so-called interventions, which mean starting a new assessment process pretty much as soon as the last one has been decided. He proposed a series of actions to address some of those concerns. We have also heard about ongoing operational problems with venues, inaccessibility, long journeys and difficulties in rural areas; Sheffield citizens advice bureau in particular has highlighted problems in that regard. Inappropriate expertise or behaviour from assessors was mentioned in a recent report from Inclusion Scotland. As one Member said this afternoon, there have been delays when circumstances have changed in the middle of a claim. I am grateful for the chance to ask the Minister questions. This issue is the major challenge facing the Department when it comes to disability benefits, and the history is not entirely encouraging. We need to know that lessons are being learned, and we look forward to his response.