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Personal Independence Payments: Inverclyde

Volume 622: debated on Tuesday 7 March 2017

5. What proportion of appeals against personal independence payment awards in Inverclyde were successful in (a) 2015 and (b) 2016. (909090)

In 2015, 52% of appeals against personal independence payment awards heard in Greenock were successful. Between January and September 2016, the latest period for which data are available, the proportion was 57%.

I thank the Minister for that catch-up on Greenock.

It is clear that a rapidly increasing number of constituents are losing their benefits, and subsequently winning their appeals. My constituents inform me daily that they are without benefit entitlements for eight to 10 weeks, and many are losing their Motability cars as well. Does the Minister agree that sanctions should not be enforced until the appeals process has been exhausted?

I think that the hon. Gentleman should view the position in context. The Government are spending £50 billion a year on supporting people with disabilities and health conditions, and the new PIP arrangements mean that 65% of PIP recipients with mental health conditions are receiving the highest rate; the proportion used to be only 22%. Overall, the system works, and the fact that there are appeals and they succeed shows that it works.

Order. The question is about Inverclyde, from which New Forest West, North Swindon and Wrexham are a considerable distance away.

Indeed, Mr Speaker. The successful proportion would not matter nearly so much if the Minister could arrange for those appeals to happen a hell of a lot quicker, and if he can fix it in Inverclyde—well, I need not spell it out, Mr Speaker.

My right hon. Friend makes the important point that justice delayed is justice denied, and it is important that cases are brought on quickly. We monitor them very carefully and provide extra days to tribunals as required, so he can be assured that we are not complacent about this.