Barry has called on the Government to desist from any proposals to tighten up access to the Personal Independence Payment.
The proposed changes come less than 12 months since the Government abandoned controversial changes to the rules on how the PIP assessment takes account of the use of “aids and appliances”. Following the resignation of Iain Duncan Smith as Secretary of State for Work and Pensions on the 18th March 2016, the Government announced that it would not be proceeding with these changes to PIP, would not be seeking alternative offsetting savings, and was not seeking further savings from the welfare budget.
On 23 February 2017, the Department for Work and Pensions laid before Parliament regulations to amend the PIP eligibility criteria from the 16th March and reverse the effect of two recent Upper Tribunal judgements.
An Equality Analysis accompanying the regulations estimates that reversing the effect of the mobility activity 1 judgement could affect 336,500 claimants (with 161,500 no longer entitled to any mobility component). The latter changes could affect people with a wide range of conditions including learning disability, autism, schizophrenia and early dementia.
Barry's letter to the Chancellor on Personal Independence Payments can be found here.
Barry's letter to the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions can be found here.