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Personal Independence Payments

Volume 623: debated on Thursday 23 March 2017

12. What discussions she has had with the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions on the effect on disabled people of recent changes to the level of personal independence payments. (909437)

Recent changes to the PIP regulations clarify the original criteria used to decide how much benefit claimants receive. This is not a policy change, nor is it intended to make new savings. It will not result in any claimants seeing a reduction in the amount of PIP previously awarded by the Department for Work and Pensions.

The Minister, in response to the Labour Front Bench, batted away suggestions that we need a full debate and vote on the Floor of the House on this issue, but given that the Government’s own equality impact assessment says that 164,000 people with debilitating mental health conditions will be affected, does she not think it is her job to go to the DWP and tell them we want a proper vote?

Supporting people with mental illness is a priority, which is why we are spending more on mental health than ever before, and an estimated £11.4 billion this year. PIP does ensure parity between mental and physical conditions, and it achieves this by looking at the impact of conditions on an individual, not which conditions they have. As I have previously said, it is of course up to the usual channels to decide whether there will be further debate on the subject.