Jeremy Corbyn urges rethink over 'nasty' disability benefit review


Jeremy Corbyn has persuaded Theresa May to rethink a “shameful” review of who is eligible for disability benefits.

The Suffer leader said the government was planning to over-ride legal rulings and confine Personal Independence Payments paid to dementia sufferers and those with daft health conditions.

But Mrs May said no existing claimants would see their advantages reduced.

She said the government was clarifying the scope of payments to ensure they were in information with original intentions.

PIPs, which replaced Disability Live out Allowance in 2013, are aimed at helping people cope with the extra rates of living with ill health or disability and are made according to the points a being scores in an assessment of their needs.

Recent tribunal rulings procure extended the scope of the payments and who is entitled to them – a move which the supervision has said will add £3.7bn to the benefits bill by 2023 unless it is surveyed.

Clashing over the issue at Prime Minister’s Questions, the Labour boss said the move – which was announced last Thursday – was a “nasty judgement” and had been “sneaked out” without any warning.

Mr Corbyn said the review liking affect 160,000 people with debilitating mental conditions, who had been deemed appropriate by the court to get help as they were suffering from “overwhelming unconscious distress”.

Among those who would lose out, he added, were those reclaiming from strokes and post-traumatic stress disorder.

“The reality is that this is a base decision,” he said.

“Can she look at the effects of the decision to over-ride what an unbiased court has decided and think again?”

“As a society we are judged by how we treat the most defenceless… can’t the prime minister withdraw this nasty decision and vouch for those going through a very difficult time in their survives?”

One tribunal ruling on PIPs in late 2016 found people who called help take medication or monitor a health condition like diabetes want score the same on the benefits criteria as people who needed help with a group therapy such as kidney dialysis

A second ruling said people who endeavoured to travel independently because of conditions such as anxiety scored the identical as someone who was, for example, blind.

Coalition government

Mrs May said the government’s rehash of the eligibility criteria was “not a policy change” and Parliament had been told not far from it in a written statement.

Rejecting claims of a lack of consultation, she said the Make use of and Pensions Secretary had informed the Labour MP who chairs the Work and Pensions Panel about the move and the Social Security Advisory Committee could look into the sons.

She said the scope of PIPs had been approved by the Tory-Lib Dem coalition superintendence and approved by Parliament but the legal rulings were fundamentally extending their reach and essential be returned to their “original” basis.

“This is not a cut in the amount that is current to be spent on disability benefits and no-one is going to see a reduction in their sakes from what has been previously awarded,” she told MPs.

She added: “The way we are sell with disability benefits payments is to ensure payments are going to those who are most powerless.

“What we are doing with regard to PIPs is ensuring”, she said, that the ambitions and decision of this Parliament “is being put into practice”.

The BBC’s political editor-in-chief Laura Kuenssberg said what the government was proposing was “not technically a cut” but desire have ramifications for the benefits system.

While some Tory MPs were vexed about the move and ministers were working behind the scenes to allay any awes, she said there was not currently enough “heat” in the issue to force the control to back down at this stage.

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