No to PIP !!

"Take nothing on its looks; take everything on evidence. There's no better rule." 

- Charles Dickens, Great Expectations

My wife is a severely ill and disabled person who relies upon DLA. Given the momentous vote in the House Of Lords  tomorrow she is very concerned about the article  by Paul Goodman in the Guardian today : 

...implying  that PIP will be beneficial to people. This is simply not the case.

Guardian readers have been given the  impression that PIP is a great and right change. In fact it will be a major devastating blow to disability rights if it goes ahead.

The idea that people need a team of people getting them back to work and off dependency on DLA is a misrepresentation of genuine need. People who are disabled will always need extra provision because that is the nature of disability. People need assistance in a variety of ways. This costs extra money; this is what DLA is for, care and mobility.

To hound people regularly , who need assistance, pretending that with enough input they will stop needing additional funds is a misrepresentation of the truth. For very ill and severely disabled people the continual harassment to prove their need works against them.

The distress is often beyond the capability of the very ill to comply with . The people who "assist"  , let us be clear.  are there because the Government buys into  the  American right's philosophy that the poor are to blame for not making the most of the "opportunities' offered to them.

It is not sufficiently recognized  that the move to destroy DLA ,  is based upon denying the physical needs of chronic sickness and disability ; the focus of PIP is upon "ability" - which is something else altogether , one that  does not take into account the context of disability and chronic ill health. It by-passes need .

Disabled people need protecting from misrepresentation and misinterpretation of truth.

If PIP goes through then thousands of people are bound to  lose their vital financial support; there are fewer categories in PIP. Lives of disabled people will be devastated, some have hinted they will kill themselves.  How can this be beneficial? How can the House of Lords or society approve of this?

The vulnerable, ill and disabled do not need to be constantly harassed,do not need to have their disability denied, do not need to be bumped off benefits :

If PIP goes through tomorrow :

  • Disability benefit claimants are  set to lose £9 billion in benefits over the course of the next parliament.
  • A wider range of aids and adaptations will be taken into account in the assessment process, meaning that people who can get about in wheelchairs may be ineligible.
  • There will no longer be automatic entitlements for people with specific health conditions.
  • All claimants will be assessed by a healthcare professional approved by the Department for Work and Pensions
  •  The number of claimants will be reduced by 20% - that is 380,000 disabled people.
  • Recipients will be required to discuss their circumstances with a professional who offers advice and "helps them access specialist support".

The Personal Independence Payment (PIP) is  a case of cuts dressed as positive reform. Disability rights groups and charities have uniformly condemned the proposals, warning of dire consequences. Disabled people will suffer through needless reassessments upon the introduction of PIP, and re-testing every few years even when a condition cannot be treated.

While there may be ways to improve DLA, they do not involve replacing it with a new benefit, and neither do they involve removing anyone from the claimant caseload :

As one senior Government source put it to me: “It is quite
possible that there will be cases of suicide.”

 The Daily Telegraph


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