I reported last week that the Liberal Democrats were planning an Early Day Motion (EDM) to halt the government’s authoritarian Personal Independence Payment (PIP) regulations. The new regulations are designed by the government to disregard the rulings of two upper tribunals regarding the scope of eligibility criteria for disabled people claiming PIP. However, upper tribunals are part of a body of administrative law that governs the activities of the administrative agencies of government. It is designed to independently review the decisions of governments, and as such, it provides protection and promotion of fundamental rights and freedoms for citizens.
The Upper Tribunal is a superior court of record, giving it equivalent status to the High Court and it can both set precedents and can enforce its decisions (and those of the First-tier Tribunal) without the need to ask the High Court or the Court of Session to intervene. It is also the first (and only) tribunal to have the power of judicial review. (The Conservatives have a historical dislike of judicial review. See for example: The real “constitutional crisis” is Chris Grayling’s despotic tendencies and his undermining of the Rule of Law.)
The first EDM has already gained excellent cross-party support. It’s primary sponsor is Tim Farron. Signatories include Jeremy Corbyn, Debbie Abrahams and a number of other Labour Party MPs, Caroline Lucas (Green Party), Jonathan Edwards (Plaid Cymru) and Scottish National Party MPs.
It says: “That an humble Address be presented to Her Majesty, praying that the Social Security (Personal Independence Payment) (Amendment) Regulations 2017 (S.I., 2017, No. 194), dated 22 February 2017, a copy of which was laid before this House on 23 February, be annulled.”
From 1 April 2017, further cuts to Employment and Support Allowance (ESA) are to be introduced, again via statutory instrument (which are usually reserved for non-controversial policy amendments only). The new regulations mean that claimants who are placed in the Work-Related Activity Group (WRAG) will lose around £30 a week, receiving the same rate of payment as those claiming Jobseeker’s Allowance and the equivalent in Universal Credit.
Another EDM was tabled by the Labour Party, with the primary sponsor being Jeremy Corbyn, which says: “That an humble Address be presented to Her Majesty, praying that the Employment and Support Allowance and Universal Credit (Miscellaneous Amendments and Transitional and Savings Provisions) Regulations (S.I., 2017, No. 204), dated 23 February 2017, a copy of which was laid before this House on 27 February, be annulled.”
Disabled people have already carried a disproportionately large burden of austerity cuts.
The cuts to disability support have been widely opposed, yet the government apparently pays little heed to the need for democratic accountability.
You can support disabled people who are being targeted by ever-increasingly punitive Conservative policies that are having an extremely damaging impact on us by emailing your MP and asking them to sign both EDMs. (Contact details here).
A black day for disabled people – disability benefit cuts enforced by government despite widespread opposition
House of Lords debate: ESA – Monday 07 March 2016 (From 3.06pm)
MP attacks cuts hitting disabled people – Debbie Abrahams
Leading the debate against the Welfare Reform and Work Bill – 3rd reading – Debbie Abrahams
My speech at the Changes to Funding of Support for Disabled People Westminster Hall Debate – Debbie Abrahams
Man leaves coroner letter as he fears Work Capability Assessment will kill him
The government need to learn about the link between correlation and causality. Denial of culpability is not good enough.
The new Work and Health Programme: government plan social experiments to “nudge” sick and disabled people into work
Stephen Crabb’s obscurantist approach to cuts in disabled people’s support
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7 thoughts on “Two EDMs have been tabled to stop Tory cuts to disability support, with cross-party endorsement”
I’m leaving this email I sent to my MP all over the place in the hope that someone can use it to prevent these awful cuts.
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I have been reading the Government’s response to the consultation on PIP published in 2012 and it is clear from this that the intention at that time was to include those who experience ‘overwhelming psychological distress’ in the mobility component so why have you changed this? One of the reasons that you gave for changing it was that this was never intended so can you explain to me the following points copied directly from the government’s response.
6.13 This activity has received numerous comments in relation to the wording ‘overwhelming psychological distress’, with particular reference to why we proposed to award more points for needing support to undertake journeys to familiar locations than where someone cannot undertake journeys because of overwhelming psychological distress. We believe that individuals who are unable to leave their homes as a result of overwhelming psychological distress will face additional costs and barriers and that therefore a high level of points should be awarded in recognition of these extra costs. However, we believe that individuals who can leave their homes but require considerable support to do so, such as needing constant supervision or to take more journeys by taxi, may face even higher extra costs and barriers, and that this reflects a higher overall level of need. We therefore consider it appropriate to award them higher priority in the benefit.
6.14 Concern was raised that the activity takes insufficient account of the impact of mental health conditions on mobility. We do not consider this the case. Individuals could potentially score in a number of descriptors in the activity if they cannot go outside to commence journeys because of their condition or need prompting or another person to accompany them to make a journey. ‘
None of this supports your argument that this was never the original intention so could you please explain your reason for this cruel decision? You cannot use the excuse that it wasn’t budgeted for as it is clear that PIP was always able to include overwhelming psychological distress as a reason to receive the mobility element. If your department got this wrong and failed to budget for it that is not the fault of the mentally ill who will now be penalised for your mistake.
Please reconsider your decision and listen to the courts who legally advised that there should be more points available for those suffering from severe mental health problems.
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Good work, Theresa
The dwp should be ashamed of picking on disabled people and sick ill people they won’t to be in there shoe they would rethink again what they r doing to people life’s coursing stress and worry to there life’s
Reblogged this on Britain Isn't Eating.
They just want to Line there own pocket that’s why they r getting people of the pip it makes me feel sick