Lords table motion to kill new Tory restrictions on PIP

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It’s estimated that around 160,000 disabled people will be stripped of their entitlement to support for the additional costs they face because of their disability after the government shifted the goalposts to deal with upper tribunal legal rulings, according to the Labour Party.

Debbie Abrahams, shadow work and pensions secretary, said: “Instead of listening to the court’s criticisms of personal independence payment assessments and correcting these injustices, the government has instead decided to undermine the legal basis of the rulings.

This is an unprecedented attempt to subvert an independent tribunal judgment by a government with contempt for judicial process.

By shifting the goalposts, the Tory government will strip entitlements from over 160,000 disabled people, money which the courts believe is rightfully theirs.

This is a step too far, even for this Tory government. Labour will stand with disabled people, who have already borne the brunt of seven years of austerity, in fighting this injustice.”

(See also:  Government subverts judicial process and abandons promise on mental health ‘parity of esteem’ to strip people of PIP entitlement. )

Labour opposes the reform and will also seek to block the statutory instrument in the House of Lords and the House of Commons.

According to the Liberal Democrat Voice, the Liberal Democrats have tabled a motion to kill the government attempts to severely restrict disability benefits. 

The government will have used a statutory instrument that amends the Welfare Reform Act 2012. However, statutory instruments are generally used for non-controversial policy changes, and changes that don’t require much parliamentary scrutiny and debate. That clearly is not the case for the Conservative’s contentious Personal Independence Payment regulations, that attempt to overturn court rulings that are meant to be independent of government influence.

The move follows the recent undemocratic announcement by the government that they will be tightening the criteria for claimants of Personal Independence Payments (PIP) which will see people with serious illnesses such as diabetes, epilepsy and a wide range of mental illnesses left without support.

The purpose of Upper Tribunals

The government has introduced the restrictive regulations after losing two cases at tribunals, showing an utter contempt for the UK judiciary system. However, the UK tribunal system is part of the national system of administrative justice

Administrative law is the body of law that governs the activities of 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 Tribunals, Courts and Enforcement Act 2007 created a new unified structure for tribunals and recognises legally qualified members of tribunals as members of the judiciary of the United Kingdom who are guaranteed continued judicial independence. This means that the judiciary is kept discrete from other branches of government. That is so that courts are not subjected to improper influence from the other branches of government, or from private or partisan interests.

Judicial Independence is vital and important to the idea of separation of powers. The intent behind this concept is to prevent the concentration of political power and provide for checks and balances. It has been significantly influenced by judicial independence principles developed by international human rights constitutional documents. in the application of the European Convention on Human Rights in British law through the Human Rights Act 1998, which came into force in the UK in 2000.

The government’s new regulations are a particularly autocratic move, aimed at simply overturning two legal rulings that the government did not like, partly because their zealotry concerning their anti-welfarism and “small state” neoliberal ideology has been challenged. The regulations were ushered in and imposed so that they would not be subjected to parliamentary scrutiny and debate or democratic dialogue with disabled people or groups and organisations that support and advocate for those with disability. 

From Penny Mordaunt’s statement:

“The first judgement held that needing support to take medication and monitor a health condition should be scored in the same way as needing support to manage therapy, like dialysis, undertaken at home. Until this ruling, the assessment made a distinction between these two groups, on the basis that people who need support to manage therapy of this kind are likely to have a higher level of need, and therefore face higher costs.

The second held that someone who cannot make a journey without assistance due to psychological distress should be scored in the same way as a person who needs assistance because they have difficulties navigating. By way of example, the first group might include some people with isolated social phobia or anxiety, whereas the second group might include some people who are blind. Until this ruling, the assessment made a distinction between these two groups, on the basis that people who cannot navigate, due to a visual or cognitive impairment, are likely to have a higher level of need, and therefore face higher costs.”

Responding to the announcement, Baroness Cathy Bakewell, Liberal Democrat Shadow Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, said:

“The government is using its recent losses in court as an excuse to severely restrict disability benefits. Rather than listening to the ruling they are using it to make matters worse for disabled people – that is utterly outrageous.

What makes things even worse is that they have sneaked this announcement out under the cover of by-elections. These decisions impact the lives of vulnerable people, Liberal Democrats will not allow the Conservatives to get away with treating people with disabilities with such total contempt.”

The Liberal Democrats contributed to scuppering the government’s plans to restrict tax credits back in October 2015.

Personally, I welcome any collaborative effort to challenge the Conservative’s draconian policies which deny people the help and support that they need. 

 

Related

Government defeated twice on tax credit cuts in House of Lords

Government signal move to curb the powers of the House of Lords after tax credit defeat

The Strathclyde Review clarifies the Conservatives’ authoritarianism

A black day for disabled people – disability benefit cuts enforced by government despite widespread opposition


I don’t make any money from my work. I am disabled because of illness and have a very limited income. But you can help by making a donation to help me continue to research and write informative, insightful and independent articles, and to provide support to others. The smallest amount is much appreciated – thank you.

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46 thoughts on “Lords table motion to kill new Tory restrictions on PIP

  1. Thanks for all your hard work in keeping us all informed as to what the Con-Servatives are doing to the disabled. Unfortunately, like you, we have a limited income, soon to be less if this misgovernment get their way. All I can contribute is reblogging your blogs and posting them to social media – facebook, twitter, google etc. Hopefully someone out there will be in a position to donate and help you keep up your good work. Thanks again. Jaffer.

    Liked by 4 people

    1. Thanks for your feedback, much appreciated, and thank you for reblogging and posting my blogs, I write them to share and raise as much public awareness as I can, so the broader the reach the better, that’s very much appreciated.

      Liked by 3 people

    2. I think it is disgusting what they trying to do to people with mental health problems none of us decided to have his mental health problems have a day inside our heads depression and anxiety has taken me 7 8 years to have some sort of life diagnosed with a form of bipolar disorder and still have good days and have tinnitus now which is hard to cope with some days are better then others and ads to my mental health wellbeing

      Liked by 2 people

  2. Reblogged this on Worldtruth and commented:
    Many thanks for this Kitty Sue. I don’t know how you keep going, given your own circumstances, but if there is a hereafter, you’ll certainly have a place set for you at the high table – along with so many others blazing a trail for justice.

    Liked by 5 people

  3. Please note 2 of the appellants in the original case before the UT come from Sheffield. One, Mrs D was described by the three judge panel as having “complex mental health problems”. She is now under the care if a psychiatrist because her mental health has been previously overlooked because she has poor physical health as well. So, the government response is to understate her mental health problems AGAIN and try to present the judgment as opening up PIP mobility components to those with “isolated social phobia” (sic) and “anxiety”. They also justify this by saying that this interpretation of the regulations was never envisaged. We’ll, excuse me, but the barrister for the appellants forensically examined the government consultation in 2012 and demonstrated that these cases were clearly envisaged as within scope. Equally, Esther McVey repeatedly argued the same while Minister. If the government didn’t agree with the judgment they could have appealed to the Court of Appeal but no it is just so much easier to pick on the severely mentally ill than (say) the vocal lobby complaining up the business rates review.

    Liked by 3 people

  4. We should also remember the Poundland judgement of the illegality of Workfare, which was met with retrospective legislation to expunge their illegality from the record. These are the acts of despots. The restriction of disability benefits is all the worse for the cavalier attitude to suffering and death. 100,000 are thought to have died (at least) among the sick and disabled because of the actions of this set of brutal ideologues. Add on to that 30,000 pa and rising excess winter mortality – say another 100,000 over the same time, and we have to wonder how the press and politicians are able to prevent these figures from inciting anger and revulsion.

    Oh wait…..they have already successfully twisted minds through relentless propaganda that these are a special kind of sub human “tax payers” can’t afford to support.

    Its good to see Debbie Abrahams pledging Labour defence of these groups. It makes a real change to see real Labour values being talked about after the neo liberals on both sides of the house pursuing their murderous eugenic ideology of neoliberalism.

    Liked by 4 people

  5. This has to be stopped. While i am very lucky myelf in that im healthy. I have two daughters who have been affected by this and the distress it is causeing is hartbreaking. Picking onthe sick and dissabled is disgusting and wrong.

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    1. Totally agree. I am disabled because of an illness, but I campaign for everyone affected by this government’s draconian policies, and more than anything, I campaign for a better, kinder and more civilised society for my own children and other people’s.

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  6. I am disgusted, im sda benefits and cant afford to live. Pip hasnt come into it yet, but i am struggling in a home i was abused in, and left by my ex. Mortgage too high as he was the earner, i cant get out! I have my 2 sons who hate what happened here, but i need a home for us together with my pets. But without these payments, i will not live. After deteriorating heath heart trouble needing bypass. And struggling to even eat a proper diet on my type 1 diabetes, and my family and pay bills heating to keep warm as immobile, pleurisy and shingles sufferer, ive nearly died. I will be having amputations very soon to my lower limbs, and what help do we get to eat proper, and to keep earm. Its discriminating us disabled people. I wish sometimes i could sit outside our local shops and beg for money. But i am not able to because im very ill.

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      1. Im also going through heart ops and now have to move from this house where my ex left me in joint interest only mortgage, we have to pay half each. Get a measly bit of hlp from housing benefit, and the rest is taken up with income support and my disablement. Mynpartner gave up full time job 2 yrs ago to care for me. Hes on 9 pence hour, its a joke! Cant get any direct payments even tho i was abused, i would never have anyone else hel0 do my bathing ect. I thought i could get direct payments for him. Were not married, and he gave up work to help me out. All his wages went into 5his property , as it was left unsafe by my ex. Fire risks th8ngs not finished off ect. And now he or i have n9 savings whatsoever. We couldnt 3ven have a chrisymas, i couldnt buy my 3 kids a present. Theu are over 18, but this is so himiliating. We cant afford tp go out for a nice day, or have a fish and chips meal, all i do is go hospitals and trip to local shops if 8m able to make it. I havent had any new clothes for iver 2 yrs, when my partner could spoil me. Its like a prison sentence. I cant get hel0 with goving us a well deserved lively day, havent had a goliday for over 7 yrs when i wasnt wheelchair bound, and my ex veing aircraft engineer was on good money, and took us away. Nightmare that was , i am getting to thst stage i want to just finish my life. I have my beautiful cats that are my children, but im struggling to feed but they do get fed, but to be moving, i wish i had a lottery payout, just wnough to be in a better place, im not greedy at all. I feel im alone, no help, and nobody cares. People go on about ha life of lyxury living off the state, it is not one bit, its murder. And i am a person that give snything to be able to work. This has been veru hard for me to write, and taken 2 days to fin8sh it, but please, i cant afford enough food for my family, neither get money for keep, and im type 1 diabetic, i have to have 2 digestive biscutes tescos ones for my breajkfast, as i have 15 pills to take. Joke. X

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  7. Echos of the past come to mind from another mad dictator and we all know where that ended .Disabled the sick mentally ill and terminally ill were of no use in society so why not just annilate them all .Is this the message this goverment are trying to get across .my daughter has a genetic condition she has learning difficulties and lots of other special needs .She has to be supported in all aspects of her life and that will never change she won’t ever be able to work or have any opportunities that other young people of her age have its very heartbreaking and to have to be put through this time and again has a very detrimental affect on us as parents .people with conditions that will never change should be switched to PIP no questions asked especially when all the supported evidence is given its not rocket science . Both her father and I have worked hard all our days and have never claimed anything so I think we have contributed more than enough that she should not have to be put through this disgusting system shame on all of you .maybe you should all stop to think it could happen to you or someone you love one day would you then want to deprive them of financial support I don’t think so .Stop wasting money and help.the poor and the needy you disgusting excuse for a government.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. aktion t4 by the summer of 41 70000 sick disabled and mentaly ill were put to sleep fast forward to today these devils have surpased that figure jeff3

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  8. I quite agree.this government what’s a bomb under there back side.instead of giving our money to none British aliens who come in to our country.they should be helping British needie who needs HELP

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    1. It’s not the refugees and immigrants that are given our money, it’s the millionaires who don’t pay tax and vulture capitalists who are handed out money in the form of massive tax “breaks” – that’s where our public funds are going.

      Liked by 1 person

    2. When you blame refugees, asylum seekers and economic migrants you do exactly what the government set you up to do.

      They use scapegoating as a tool and teach us how to use it against other vulnerable groups. They do this because the vulnerable lack power so they are easy targets.

      And why do they do this…. so we distract ourselves from the real damage they are doing behind the scenes.

      They indoctrinate us with their propaganda.
      Their psychological manipulations confuse and distort our ability to think clearly and rationally. Critical thinking goes out the window along with compassion and empathy for our fellow man.

      We dehumanize the refugee, ‘the illegal alien’

      So while we point the finger at the foreigners etc. those with the power succeed in dividing us all up into small groups fighting and blaming each other.

      We dis-empower ourselves when we do this.

      When looking to blame, do the opposite of what they want.
      Don’t look across or down.

      Look UP!

      Liked by 1 person

    3. hmm those pesky aliens hmm most of these work here this government has given more tax breaks to their richer friends leaving us the poorer for it we pay tax they dont

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  9. Thankyou Kitty for all your excellent writing on this subject, i have been reading your blogs etc for a couple of months now , as my wife is directly affected by all the welfare changes. This latest outrage will directly affect her PIP entitlement on the next re assessment in 2 years time , she was re assessed and taken off DLA only 2 years ago & her award for PIP was given mainly on the basis of problems with “planning and following a journey”, or “going out” I won’t go into detail here, but this is very bad news if they get there way ! ……… i will keep re posting your work on facebook etc making people aware, i wish i could help somehow to fund your work but as you can imagine , its not possible .

    Like

    1. I hope that we can collectively work to challenge and stop the cuts so that people like your wife and yourself don’t suffer any further. Sharing my posts is more than enough support for me, as the more people who are aware of what is happening to disabled people and those with illnesses, the better.

      Many thanks for all you do. I write to share information, it’s good to know that it gets shared. I also hope that some of my work is useful and helps people.

      Like

  10. Severe disablement since98 motability car etc disability includes arthritis of spine. Asthma. Diabetic gout p I p reduced to standard rate points all zeros and twos only as a Filipino I was not even allowed representation by my husband and told we only want to hear from you this is racial discrimination and also contravene my basic human rights and this government STILL say they are NOT the nasty party thousands of disabled would disagree with that statement but of course pregnant smokers need help more don’t they it’s DISGUSTING SHAME ON THEM no one chooses to be disabled whereas smoking mothers do so by choice

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    1. I am sorry to hear about the way you have been treated. Sadly you are far from alone.

      I don’t think smoking pregnant mothers get PIP. I think that anyone who smokes and wants to quit should be given some support to do so if they need it. Many people with type 2 diabetes are accused by the government of choosing a lifestyle that is unhealthy, as that illness is linked with poor diet and obesity. If that’s the case I think those people should also have help to change their diet to be healthier. I have an illness that no-one knows much about in terms of what causes it. Some think it’s a combination of genetics, hormones and environment. That doesn’t stop well-meaning people telling me to try different diets, herbal remedies, even oxo cubes! As if I have somehow got ill because of something I didn’t do.

      It doesn’t help any of us to make hierarchies of “deserving” and “undeserving” disabled people, or to prioritise some conditions over others. That simply fuels the government’s rhetoric and justification for more cuts.

      If you want to know where our public resources for welfare and healthcare are going – we have all paid for these via tax and national insurance – then look at the very favourable way that millionaires and the wealthiest 1% in this country are gifted tax cuts from the government. Take a look at how much money gets put into offshore bank accounts and how few multinational companies pay their taxes.

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    2. Many of the people affected by these cuts are driven to use something, be it alcohol, nicotine, cannabis etc.. Just to block out the hurt and pain. A very, very high percentage of people presenting to substance use services are categorised as dual diagnosis, mental health issues together with substance use. As someone said above, this is what they want, for us all to turn on each other. We should be all together fighting this corrupt system! Please don’t judge what you don’t understand.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Yes, in this light, substance misuse is a form of self medication. I worked with young people who had substance use problems, and every one of them had mental health issues, often arising from events in their lives that were out of their control, that had triggered both the distress and the substance use.

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  11. It’s just disgusting , picking on the sick, mentally ill people, I get pip at the moment both elements , I have mental health problems, and was recently diagnosed with moderate to high ASPERGERS, I have problens with planning journeys, I think the Tories are evil calous monsters.

    Liked by 1 person

  12. I was on lifetime dla an da and mobility vehicle ihavejustbeenfored to apply for pipa d am waiting to hear ack. People on here don’t fill me with confidence. I’m also now 65 so if I lose vehicle to old to claim anew and will leave me house bound

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    1. Personal Independence Payment (PIP) is a benefit for people aged between 16 and 64 .. its a working age benefit ! If you are 65 you should be able to still claim DLA …… i would question this ?

      Liked by 1 person

    2. You will be reassessed if you were under 65 on 8 April 2013.

      If you were born on or before 8 April 1948 you can continue to receive DLA as long as you still have care or mobility needs.

      Like

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