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******9th Nov 2017 until further notice.********
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PIP: MPs debate Personal Independence Payment (Amendment) Regulations 2017

Recent parliamentary business (aside from Brexit) has been conspicuous for the numbers of questions asked about disability and benefits, especially about DLA and PIP. On 16th March the new Personal Independence Payment (Amendment) Regulations 2017 came into force.

On the previous day, 15th March, an Urgent Question  from Debbie Abrahams,  Shadow Secretary of State For Work and Pensions (“To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions to make a statement regarding the recommendations of the Social Security Advisory Committee on the new Personal Independence Payment (Amendment) Regulations 2017, which are due to come into force tomorrow”) allowed  Damian Green, Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, to state the government’s intentions, and then to reply to (a barrage) of questions from MPs.

The debate comprises a comprehensive summary of all the issues surrounding the ongoing implementation of PIP, and the anxieties around it.A full transcript is available here, and anyone who may be affected (i.e. persons currently receipt of DLA, and their carers) would do well to take a look.

Plenty of MPs expressed their own and their constituents’ anxieties. Angela Eagle for example complained: I have to say that I am finding an increasing discrepancy between the way that the Secretary of State is describing the PIP benefit and the people who are coming to my advice surgeries in tears having been completely let down by the system. We all want to see a society where we give support to the most vulnerable, and that is who we are talking about here. Will the Secretary of State now undertake to ensure that some of his highest officials come and visit us in our advice surgeries and look at how this system is actually working out on the frontline, because it is not remotely like how he is portraying it today?”

Especially, look out towards the end of the debate, for the arguments around ‘cognitive or sensory impairments’ and ‘mental health impairment’, and on how the PIP Assessment Guidance is being implemented.

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