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[Image: Black Triangle Campaign]

This is to be welcomed.

But take note of the fact that the BBC report (below) doesn’t mention the fact that Esther Mcvey sneaked out her announcement after the close of Parliamentary business for the week.

Nor is anything said of the fact that this was a humiliating climbdown for the Tories.

Still, it’s good news for the public.

And if this is an indication of Esther McVey’s future at the DWP, then perhaps she is to be welcomed after all.

But I doubt it.

Ministers have backed down in a row over paying higher disability benefits to 164,000 people by saying they will not contest a High Court decision.

Work and Pensions Secretary Esther McVey said she would not appeal December’s judgement over payments to people with mental health conditions.

Ministers had sought to limit those suffering psychological distress from claiming higher rates of benefits.

Campaigners said this was “crude and unfair” and welcomed the U-turn.

The government introduced regulations last March stating that people who could not travel independently on the grounds of psychological distress, as opposed to other conditions, were not entitled to the enhanced mobility rate of Personal Independence Payment.

Ministers pressed ahead with the proposals despite criticism from an independent tribunal in 2016 but the High Court ruled shortly before Christmas that they were “blatantly discriminatory”.

The government was expected to challenge the ruling, having previously said reversing the changes would cost an extra £3.7bn by 2022.

But Ms McVey, in one of her first major announcements since joining the cabinet last week, ruled out fresh legal action in a written statement to Parliament.

The Department for Work and Pensions will now go through all affected cases to identify anyone who may be entitled to more as a result of the judgement.

All payments will be backdated to the effective date in each individual claim.

Source: U-turn in disability benefits row


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