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Emergency Debate on changes to Personal Independence Payment Regulations

Slightly lost in the news coverage of other events taking place yesterday 30th March (Article 50 Letter, commemoration of the victims of last week’s terrorist attack, George Michael’s funeral ), a significant debate took place in the Commons.

The Speaker, John Bercow, acceded to the request of Shadow Minister Debbie Abrahams and allowed an emergency debate on the proposed Amendments to the Personal Independence Payment (PIP) Regulations.

A factual description of the circumstances requiring this debate, with links to the written- and video-transcripts is available  on the Parliament website:  https://www.parliament.uk/business/news/2017/march/emergency-debate-on-personal-independence-payments/  

As you will read, Disability Minister Penny Mordaunt spoke at length defending government’s position.

Outside, various individuals and groups, such as Inclusion London held a protest meeting.

The core issues at stake in proposed amendments are a) how PIP assessments will decide upon the mobility component,  and b) how mental health considerations will affect those assessments.

As the Campaigns and Policy Manager of Inclusion London explained : “The government are ignoring the advice of Upper Tier Tribunal Judges, closing the door of support which the judges have ruled they entitled to, for those with the following mental health issues: Learning disabilities, Autism. Schizophrenia, Anxiety disorders, Cognitive disorder due to a stroke, Dementia, Depressive disorders, Post-traumatic stress disorder Phobias, Obsessive compulsive disorder, who struggle with journeying unaccompanied. The govt are also trying to withhold support for people who need help to monitor medication and therapy”.

This is a first, but I have to say that the best coverage of the emergency Commons debate on the 29th March AND of the related  Lords debate on the 28th March (which resulted in a majority against the government’s PIP proposals in the form of a rarely-used ‘regret motion’) was in the Daily Mirror(!)

Please see:

After reading  these articles, you should understand why April 6th is the next significant milestone.  MPs have only 40 days to ‘pray against’ the PIP Amendment. That deadline is due next week, meaning the last chance to stop the law will be on or before next Thursday –  when MPs leave for Easter recess.

We will undoubtedly be writing more on this topic…

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