Monday, January 14, 2013

New report from We Are Spartacus - Emergency Stop #pipemergency

originally published here

On the day we publish Emergency Stop, a new report analysing the economic and social impact of the Personal Independence Payment regulations, we call on the Government to ‘go back to the drawing board’ on proposals to replace disability living allowance (DLA), after it buried last-minute changes to criteria which will see thousands more disabled people with mobility difficulties lose out than expected. 
The unexpected changes, slipped out following a Ministerial statement last month (13 December 2012), mean the criteria for the enhanced mobility rate of the new Personal Independence Payment (PIP), has tightened. The qualification has changed from being able to walk 50 metres to being able to walk 20 metres.
This not only condemns thousands more disabled people to the worry of losing out under the new benefit and the isolation this will bring; it also highlights the lie that the Government’s reforms are targeted to support those in need.
Government protestations about consultation are a nonsense if it takes no notice of what disabled people and their organisations say. Of the 173 consultation responses from organisations on the new PIP, only one suggested the qualifying distance for those who have the most difficulty getting around should perhaps be changed.
And why has there been no parliamentary debate on such a significant policy change? Is it because government has already decided this is about saving money rather than meeting need?
We’re also calling on the Government to incorporate people’s ability to undertake tasks ‘reliably, repeatedly, safely and in a timely manner’ into the regulations for PIP, which will ensure both assessments and appeal hearings consistently take account of factors such as pain, fatigue, breathlessness and other symptoms generated by undertaking tasks.
The ‘Emergency Stop’ report analyses figures supplied by the DWP and Motability, the organisation that supplies lease cars and specialist converted vehicles to disabled people claiming the higher mobility rate of Disability Living Allowance.
The analysis estimates that, under PIP, 428,000 fewer working age disabled people will qualify for the higher PIP rate (which allows access to the Motability scheme) by 2018. This could lead to 160,000 fewer Motability cars on the road.
Oxford Economics’ report ‘Economic and social impact of the Motability Car Scheme’ (2010) identified the Motability scheme’s contribution to the economy through car sales, employment generation and tax receipts. The new report shows that welfare reform plans will lead to a domino effect including the loss of:
  • 5,692 jobs (from 21,080 jobs to 15,388 jobs in Motability-related industries)
  • £544 million contribution to GDP (from around £2 billion to £1.45 billion)
  • £126 million in tax receipts
It also highlights that the cost to the public purse of enabling disabled people to get to medical appointments could alone amount to about £8 million.
It’s not just disabled people who will lose out under the Government’s welfare reform plans. Changing from DLA to PIP means fewer people qualifying for Motability cars to the tune of about 50,000 fewer vehicles a year. Less demand means fewer jobs in the motor industry, a lower contribution to GDP and the exchequer, and a knock on effect on the second hand market, which also contributes to the economy.
In the meantime, disabled people will be less independent, less likely to be able to get or keep a job, more likely to give up self-employment and less able to care for their children or support other family members.


Robert said...

Would Motability keep going with the loss of customers not to sure...

I can walk 20 mtrs with crutches I cannot walk 50 I can use my wheelchair for twenty metres I cannot push myself 50 without stopping, what this new rule is about is those with an electric wheelchair will be OK those with manual have had it.

Labour's not said very much have they

Anonymous said...

20 metres doesn't make any sense. I can walk farther, but i still can't walk to where i wan't to go. I wouldn't be able to go anywhere if it wasn't for my husband.

Robert said...

Then you should be OK, because you will state that you cannot walk 20 mtrs and need your husabd to move you everywhere, I could of course say the same, but for me I should not need to tell lies, I cannot walk 50mtrs in one go, but 20 mtrs is nothing is it.

LceeL said...

Yes - where IS Labor in all of this? It's one thing to have Conservatives throwing any and everyone under the bus, it's quite another to have Labor, the Party which SHOULD represent those who believe in caring for one another, stand by in silence while the least capable are cast farther adrift in a sea of "Fend for Yourself".

Anonymous said...

This is the letter I've just sent my MP :

Dear David Mowat,

David I'm praying that you will be opposing the appalling treatment of disabled people as part of this over menus plans for DLA changes, soon becoming PIP, and featuring an unbelievable attack on those in receipt of Mobility Allowance. The recent unannounced move to change the "how far can you walk test" by reducing it from 50m to 20m is beyond reason. It will destroy lives. Please ignore the party line from DWP. This will not result in a "largely neutral" change. It will result in the removal of Motability cars from severely disabled people. These are not scroungers David. They are decent people, many like myself have worked every day of our adult lives, paid taxes and NI and haven't had 24 hours unemployment. Why does this Government gate disabled people so much ? Why are we being demonised and portrayed as cheats ?

The new PIP plans win some support in Daily Mail sound bytes but this isn't about politics David it's genuinely a life or death situation. These changes will condemn some of the most vulnerable people in our society to a life home bound, and see the destruction of their independence, their dignity, their pride.

Please take a close look at this David, it isn't as it appears in the DWP statements. We need our MPs to get below the surface of these PIP plans and understand the huge personal impact. Yes there is emotion, yes there is anger, but at the heart of this issue is the terrible fear that the new PIP will do more than reduce current DLA numbers and save some money. It will destroy lives in a way that is hard for many to understand because naturally they tend to see mobility and independence as a "given", a normal part of life and indeed, a "right". Please will you ask the questions that need asking and challenge the line being taken by DWP and get under the skin of these changes. We need a champion for those in your constituency who seem more and more at risk from a whole rash of benefit changes. They are not cheats, nor scroungers and in fact many are true strivers who before they start striving have to start living and just to do that takes an effort that would amaze most people.

Hoping you will act for those who need that champion.

Yours sincerely,

Anonymous said...

I wonder which organisation felt it should be lowered?

Anonymous said...

1. Judicial review of WCA 15 & 16 jan

2. Atos debate in HoC

The debate in atmosphere and outcome will tell if there's any chance of making any difference to PiP

I personalli don't think it will

misspiggy said...

Have also sent it to my MP, Chris Williamson, Labour. So far media coverage has been good, and it's a great report, well done Spartaci!

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