PIP statement by McVey Dec 14, 2012 10:23:23 GMT 1
Post by nickd on Dec 14, 2012 10:23:23 GMT 1
Personal Independence Payment
Ministerial Statement - Esther McVey
This week saw Esther McVey make various announcements over the timetable for the implementation of phased reassessments of Disability Living Allowance claims as government moves one step nearer towards its now legislated introduction of Personal Independence Payment - the new 'points scoring' replacement for the Disability Living Allowance introduced by the Tories in 1992.
McVey promises a slower reassessment rate and better protection for those on what she terms 'life - time' awards. She asserts how her government has 'listened carefully' to the concerns expressed - which would indeed be a first if only they had.
Should we be pleased?
No, I think you should be very cautious before accepting a word she says. Make no mistake about it, McVey has been carefully chosen as the 'friendlier' face of disability. She's just what government needs to to cut through the next 'phase' of government's harsh hitting disability benefit reforms. Be warned though that the blonde bombshell is everywhere near as dangerous as those who have gone before her; she will spare no mercy when it comes to kicking the stick away from the thousands who will lose out as Disability Living Allowance fades away in to yet another closed chapter of social security history.
McVey's background is the usual business and law curriculum vitae which the Tories love; she's used to flirting with the camera so she'll know a thing or too about courting those who dare oppose. I suspect she'll fool and win around a good few more than her predecessor; - the Rottweiler Maria Miller. With a family which dabbled in demolition - be aware McVey will press ahead with these reforms as if she was behind the controls of her very own highly destructive earth moving JCB digger.
McVey is slick and smart in debate, she rarely takes time to draw breath as she trots out line after party line; all carefully fed to her from the aide who sits behind her with a ready supply of song sheets - all bang on queue and on time. She knows how to bluff her way convincingly through a difficult question with a short and swift response " I will of course be happy to come back to you on that".
I hate to break it to you but every unfolding gem of welfare reform is one which brings with it less and less sign of providing a claimant with anything like the safety net afforded by previous levels of long term security. Each new dodgy rung on the increasingly private sector orientated welfare reform ladder should be marked with a yellow ticker tape marked with a clear warning " the higher you climb the harder you fall". They just don't want you reaching the top rung - by 'enhanced' they mean 'you've got to be almighty disabled to stand a chance'. For those who do get there, expect the private 'disability cleansing experts' to make sure you're not there for too long. The only permanent disability this government will accept is terminal illness beyond that you'll struggle.
The Coalition just doesn't do illness or disability.
The Tories just use claimants as a means of adjusting its figures. When there are too many on the dole they throw you on the sick and when there are too many on the sick they re-label illness itself - if they were genuinely interested in the needs of the disabled they'd just listen to what a doctor tells them; instead they use computer scoring healthcare professionals to work out a person's need of personal 'independence' - what they really mean is independence from the state because this isn't a government which wants to bear the cost of maintaining you.
When McVey talks of holding off mainstream reassessment until 2015 what she really means is that the DWP's decision - makers and Atos are already at full stretch - if not bursting point - with their monstrous programme of incapacity reassessment which has spiralled out of control to a point where any more would probably result in a mass - walk out of worn down, stressed, de-motivated and under-valued assessors with an inherent risk that one or two will break ranks and 'blow the whistle' on the whole sorry charade.
Personal Independence Payment comes with it a new disputes process called 'mandatory revision before appeal'. The DWP promote it as all things well and wonderful - so you just know it's going to be truly dreadful. It's just a way of making the disabled wait a little longer (well by quite a few months actually) before they can prove their genuine conditions are indeed genuine.
You have to understand it's going to take a fair while before before the Tribunals work their way through the thousands of incapacity benefit related (ESA) appeals which will result so long as the Daily Mail & Express continues to print the words 'scrounger' in its disability hatred bred headlines. Whenever you see such headlines just take it to mean government isn't getting the results it wants and has to rely on brainwashing the public even more into hating the disabled a bit more than they did yesterday.
I'll go on and point out the pitfalls of PIP in due course, but for now I'll leave you with McVey's statement - don't believe it's a new cuddly message to the disabled of Britain - it's anything but...
The Government is committed to enabling disabled people to fulfill their potential and play a full role in society.
Crucial to this is the reform of Disability Living Allowance – a lifeline for many, but which is simply not working in its current form.
In the last 10 years the number of people claiming rose by over a third, from around 2.4 million to 3.2 million.
And expenditure is now far in excess of initial estimated costs.
This year DWP expects to spend over £13 billion on DLA
As a percentage of GDP, we spend a fifth more than the EU average on disability benefits.
... and expect to spend more in real terms in 2015/16 than we did in 2009/10.
Today we are publishing the Government’s consultation responses –, on the draft assessment criteria... and on the detailed design of PIP.
Alongside this, I will be laying in draft in Parliament the main PIP regulations, setting out the PIP entitlement conditions, assessment criteria and payment rates. And we will also publish in draft what the transitional arrangements might look like.
The main scheme regulations are subject to the affirmative procedure and I look forward to debating them in full early next year.
Personal Independence Payment will be, easier to understand and administer, financially sustainable, and more objective.
Throughout the whole development, we have consulted widely with disabled people. We have used their views to inform policy design and implementation plans. As a result of hearing these views, we have made several key changes to the final assessment criteria.
I would like to thank the individuals and organisations who contributed.
Starting with the rates. I am pleased to confirm the rates for PIP will be set at the same rates as DLA.
The daily living enhanced rate of PIP will be the same as the higher rate care component of DLA
And the standard rate of the daily living component will be set at middle rate DLA care component
The mobility rates of PIP will be the same as the DLA rates
Furthermore, following the Autumn Statement, these disability benefits will be protected within our uprating measures.
PIP, like DLA and Carer’s Allowance, will continue to be uprated by inflation.
The most important thing I want to announce today is that we have listened and acted on the huge amount of consultation we have had with disabled people and disability groups
We have made specific, key changes as a result of our engagement.
Outlined in full in our consultation responses, these include...
broadening our approach to aids and appliances, assessing ability to read and taking account of specialist orientation aids that help mobility
mirroring the linking rules for DLA – helping ensure continuity for people with fluctuating conditions and new plans for contacting young people when they reach the age of 16 or their appointees to help a smooth transition to PIP
All the changes we have made address the genuine concerns of disabled people and the organisations representing them.
Overall, their effect is to make PIP more transparent, objective, and fair...
We also listened carefully to concerns about the speed of reassessment.
To that end we will now undertake a significantly slower reassessment timetable to ensure we get this right.
It will be phased in starting with new claims only in a controlled start area in the North West and parts of the North East of England from April 2013.
We will then take new claims nationally from June 2013.
From October 2013 we will start reassessing people whose DLA award is due to end, people who report a change in condition and young people who reach the age of 16.
But now the peak period of reassessments will not start until October 2015.
This means we can learn from the early introduction of PIP – testing our process, and making sure the assessment is working correctly before we embark on higher volumes.
We will then consider the findings of our first independent review planned for 2014 and act on its findings.
Importantly, unless they report a change in their condition, those with a lifetime or indefinite DLA award will not be reassessed until October 2015 at the earliest.
We can now publish caseload assumptions about the impact of PIP.
These figures clearly show that PIP will deliver its key objective – focussing support on those with the greatest needs.
By October 2015 we estimate we will have reassessed 560,000 claimants.
Of these 160,000 will get a reduced award and 170,000 will get no award. However 230,000 will get the same support or more support.
Under the new criteria, almost a quarter of PIP recipients will get both of the highest rates – worth £134.40 each week – compared to only 16% on DLA.
But by reforming the system, ensuring it is fit for the 21st century... we can use the money we spend on disabled people more efficiently and effectively, to help those most in need.