Friday, 17 January 2014

Unacceptable delays caused by welfare reforms

Katy Clark MP has expressed concerns over delays experienced by constituents when applying for the UK Government’s new Personal Independence Payment (PIP). 

PIP has been phased in since April 2013 to replace Disability Living Allowance as part of Westminster-imposed ‘welfare’ reforms.

Katy Clark said, “I have had several constituents express frustration at the amount of time it has taken for them to be medically assessed after sending in their application for PIP.   One constituent, John Scott, was diagnosed with cancer in the summer of 2013 and sent in his application for PIP soon after.   To date, he is still waiting for his initial medical assessment, never mind a payment or even an actual decision on whether or not he qualifies.”

The Labour MP said Mr Scott’s case was “unacceptable”, but was not an isolated incident.  “The government is undertaking massive cuts to welfare, so it is no surprise that delays, mistakes and costly errors are becoming more frequent.   I will be writing to Iain Duncan Smith, the Secretary of State at the Department for Work and Pensions, to raise my concerns, and will be asking him for details on the number of targets being missed when it comes to PIP assessments.”

Ms Clark, MP for North Ayrshire & Arran, believes the UK Tory-Lib Dem Government has been “incompetent when introducing their unjustified welfare cuts,” adding, “The unfair Bedroom Tax - which Labour will scrap altogether - has faced numerous legal challenges for potentially breaching human rights and disability discrimination laws.  Their planned Universal Credit project is a shambles, with one costly delay after another, and Iain Duncan Smith blaming civil servants instead of taking responsibility himself.  Urgent attention is required on the welfare system, as the only people who are losing out are those most in need of help.”

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