Page last updated at 12:58 GMT, Thursday, 13 December 2012

PIP statement

The government has been urged to "stick to their guns" over plans to replace the disability living allowance with the personal independence payment.

Backbench Conservative MP Philip Davies made the comments during a statement in the Commons from the Minister for Disabled People, Esther McVey, on 13 December 2012.

From April 2013, the personal independence payment will replace the disability living allowance for for eligible working age people aged 16 to 64.

People in receipt of disability living allowance (DLA) will not automatically qualify for the personal independence payment (PIP). They will need to apply for it and be individually assessed.

Ministers are reforming disability payments because, they say, some claimants have not been recently assessed and may now be suitable for some work.

They believe that by cutting benefits for some recipients they can divert money to those in more need.

MP for Shipley, Philip Davies, said Labour seemed to believe in a eligibility test, but one which "no one failed".

He told MPs: "They [Labour] just want to advocate unlimited levels of welfare. Given that we have limited resources most of my constituents will support the principle that the money should be directed at those people who need it instead of those people that do not."

Labour MP, and former minister, David Blunkett, described the comments of Mr Davies as a "disgrace" and warned that it was hard to judge the effects of changes on deaf and blind people until the details of the revised assessment criteria are revealed.

Esther McVey told MPs: "By October 2015 we will have reassessed 560,000 claimants. Of those, 160,000 will get a reduced award and 170,000 will get no award. However, 230,000 will get the same or more support."

Ms McVey said claimants receiving lifetime or indefinite DLA would not be reassessed until October 2015 at the earliest - after the next general election.

Labour backed reform but shadow minister Anne McGuire insisted: "The assessment needs to be the right one."

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