It’s obvious, really.

If a court has ruled that the rules pertaining to payment of a particular social security benefit must be interpreted in a particular way – to make them fair for claimants – and the government of the day then changes those rules to make the judgement irrelevant, then that government is admitting it does not want to help people who need it.

The Conservatives (for they are to blame) are also telling us that they will continually redefine “the most needy” to fit the requirements of their budget, rather than those of the ill and/or disabled.

We may reasonably expect those requirements to be dictated by any desire to make tax cuts for the rich.

Labour’s Shadow Work and Pensions Secretary, Debbie Abrahams, had it right when she made her response. She said:

“Instead of listening to the court’s criticisms of personal independence payment assessments and correcting these injustices, the Government has instead decided to undermine the legal basis of the rulings.

“This is an unprecedented attempt to subvert an independent tribunal judgment by a government with contempt for judicial process.

“By shifting the goalposts, the Tory government will strip entitlements from over 160,000 disabled people, money which the courts believe is rightfully theirs.

“This is a step too far, even for this Tory government. Labour will stand with disabled people, who have already borne the brunt of seven years of austerity, in fighting this injustice.”


Around 160,000 disabled people will be stripped of benefits entitlements after the Government shifted the goalposts to deal with legal rulings, according to Labour.

A tribunal said personal independence payments (PIP) claimants with psychological problems who cannot travel without help must be treated like those who are blind.

Claimants who need support to take medication should be assessed the same way as those managing therapies like dialysis at home, it also ordered.

Penny Mordaunt insisted urgent reforms were needed following the upper tribunal rulings and said she would not be referring them for review to a specialist committee.

The disabilities minister said she was reforming the payments to “restore the original aim of the benefit” to make sure the most needy were given support.

Mrs Mordaunt said: “Two recent upper tribunal judgments have broadened the way the PIP assessment criteria should be interpreted, going beyond the original intention.

“In order to make sure the initial purpose of PIP is maintained, we are making drafting amendments to the criteria which provide greater clarity.”

Source: Care Appointments | DWP ‘shifting goalposts’ on PIP will hit 160,000 disabled people, say Labour

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