MP calls for end to Callous Attack on Disabled
Glenrothes and Central Fife MP Peter Grant has called for an end to the UK Government’s “callous and chaotic attack on people with disabilities”.
Mr Grant was given permission to ask an urgent question to the Secretary of State for Work & Pensions, Esther McVey, on Tuesday after the government accepted a High Court ruling that some changes to the Personal Independent Payment System were unlawful.
Personal Independence Payment (PIP) and is a benefit that helps with the extra costs of a long-term health condition or disability for people aged 16 to 64, and is being phased in to replace gradually replace Disability Living Allowance (DLA). The High Court case effectively overturned the government’s failure to give proper recognition for people whose ability to work is affected by mental health problems.
The SNP MP highlighted that at least 71 people who have contacted him in his constituency alone have not been receiving the money that they have been entitled to, and that hundreds more may come forward following this decision by the courts, which the UK Government confirmed it will not appeal against.
Peter Grant told the House of Commons “The High Court has ruled yet again that the Government has been acting unlawfully in its incessant attack on the very people the DWP (Department for Work & Pensions) should be seen to protect. We now know that up to 164,000 people will get higher disability payments – or to put it another way, the Government have unlawfully been seeking to withhold benefits from up to 164,000 people who are not only entitled to them but need these benefits in order to have anything like the kind of normal life the more fortunate among us can take for granted.” In later exchanges the Government admitted that the number of people affected could be as high as 220,000.
The Glenrothes MP also took a moment to recognise the loss to the town of David Nelson, who had previously won a landmark ruling on the Bedroom Tax and who died suddenly last week. Mr Grant said, "The man who stood up against the DWP and won on the Bedroom Tax was Davie Nelson, a Glenrothes man through and through. I know his family and friends will be pleased to see that others are continuing the campaign for social justice that Davie fought so bravely."
For those in the Glenrothes and Central Fife constituency wishing to find out if they are now entitled to a higher level of benefits, you can contact Peter Grant’s office by email on firstname.lastname@example.org or by calling 01592 759335.