Monday 24 June 2013

#PIP 20m Consultation: It's All About Cost

The new DWP Consultation on the restriction of PIP Higher Rate Mobility Component to people unable to walk 20m rather than unable to walk 50m is now available here with a closing date for responses of 5th August 2013.

Background to the need for a repeat of the consultation process and why 20m is completely inappropriate is available in our PIP: 20 Metre Primer.

As pointed out by Sue Marsh, and by Steven Sumpter who was responsible for bringing the Judicial Review of the original PIP consultation and which forced DWP into this new consultation, a particularly interesting aspect of the new consultation is that, while claiming the intention is to be completely open about whether 20m meets the needs of people with mobility disabilities, it then immediately contradicts itself by making clear that the deciding factors will be how many people will receive the Higher Rate Mobility Component under any revised criteria and the cost to the welfare budget. This confirms, as disabled people have alleged from the outset, that the sole driving force behind the replacement of DLA with PIP is reducing the welfare budget, not tailoring the benefit to the needs of disabled people as the Coalition has repeatedly claimed.

In fact the Consultation document includes the DWP's own modelling of the number of people who would be entitled to the Mobility Components of DLA, of PIP under the 2nd Draft (consulted on) and of PIP under the final regulations (not consulted on). This shows entitlement to the Higher Rate Mobility Component dropping from 1,030,000 under DLA to 652,000 under the PIP 2nd Draft and to 602,000 under the final PIP regulations. That means even the Coalition and the DWP admit that under the PIP regulations as they currently stand, 428,000 disabled people will lose Higher Rate Mobility Component, together with their eligibility for leasing a car or wheelchair under the Motability scheme. That means 428,000 disabled people who may no longer be able to engage with their local community, many of whom may well lose jobs as a result.

The impact of the PIP mobility changes will be devastating for hundreds of thousands of disabled people and it is vital that as many disabled people and groups as possible respond to the consultation and explain the impact of the 20m limit under the currently imposed regulations.

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