A new campaign by the charity MS Society is calling on the DWP to scrap a “senseless and unfounded” policy that’s harming claimants and costing the NHS millions.
The 20 metre rule
MS Society represents people who suffer from Multiple Sclerosis (MS). MS is a “condition which can affect the brain and/or spinal cord”. It causes a wide range of symptoms, including fatigue, trouble walking, numbness, muscle stiffness / spasms, and problems with balance.
The charity’s campaign is focused on scrapping the ’20 metre rule’ which governs access to the mobility component of the PIP disability benefit. A press release for the campaign seen by The Canary states:
People with MS have been increasingly losing vital support since Personal Independence Payment (PIP) began in 2013. The biggest change has been the introduction of the 20 metre rule, used in PIP assessments to determine eligibility for the higher rate of mobility support. Under the previous benefit – Disability Living Allowance (DLA) – the measure was 50 metres. Now, if you can walk just one step over 20 metres, roughly the length of two double-decker buses, you won’t qualify for higher level of mobility support. Under DLA 94% of people with MS were receiving this higher rate but this has fallen to just 66% under PIP.
The charity has also released a campaign video highlighting the callousness of the 20 metre policy:
Source: A ‘senseless and unfounded’ DWP policy is causing harm to claimants and costing the NHS millions, says a charity | The Canary
Ministers have again come under fire over an “unfit” policy on disability benefits – as an MP revealed how identical twins, suffering with the same condition, had been given differing judgements by assessors. The twins, who both had the same genetic condition, went for Personal Independence Payment (PIP) assessments at different times and one was […]
Universal Credit rules which saw two severely disabled men miss out on £178 a month in vital benefits are unlawful and “discriminatory”, the High Court in London has ruled in a landmark legal case.
The two claimants, known only as TP and AR, were in receipt of the Severe Disability Premium (SDP) and Enhanced Disability Premium (EDP), which are designed to meet care costs for those without a carer, before they were required to claim Universal Credit after moving to a new area.
However, both the SDP and EDP have been scrapped under Universal Credit, despite reasurances from Work and Pensions Secretary Esther McVey that “no one will experience a reduction in the benefit they are receiving at the point of migration to Universal Credit where circumstances remain the same”.
TP is a former Cambridge graduate and worked in the finance sector, before being diagnosed with terminal illness – Non-Hodgkins Lymphoma and Castleman’s disease in 2016.
AR is 35 and suffers from severe mental health issues. He moved from Middlesbrough to Hartlepool in 2017 to escape the hated Bedroom Tax, but soon found himself facing the much criticised Universal Credit system and a serious drop in income.
Source: Universal Credit ‘discriminates’ against disabled people, High Court rules : Welfare Weekly
NHS managers have been complaining for a long time that an annual cap on the number of non-EU skilled workers who can immigrate to Britain was making it hard for them to fill positions.
The cap, introduced by Prime Minister Theresa May when she was interior minister, is currently set at 20,700 non-EU skilled workers per year. It was part of a broader effort by May to reduce immigration, in line with promises made to voters by the ruling Conservative Party.
Britain’s planned exit from the European Union is expected to result in restrictions on EU workers coming to the country, which could create further recruitment difficulties for the NHS.
The health service, which has relied on being able to recruit professionals from overseas for decades, currently has tens of thousands of vacancies.
Source: UK to relax immigration rules for non-EU doctors and nurses – BBC says | Reuters
UK workers are continuing to experience near stagnant wage rises, despite record numbers of people in work and low unemployment levels, the latest labour market survey from the Office for National Statistics (ONS) reveals.
ONS data published this week shows there were 32.39 million people in work between November 2017 to January 2018 and February to April 2018, 146,000 more than for November 2017 to January 2018 and 440,000 more than for a year earlier, with an overall employment rate of 75.6%.
According to the survey results, there were 1.42 million unemployed people in the last quarter, 38,000 fewer than for November 2017 to January 2018 and 115,000 fewer than for a year earlier. The official unemployment rate fell from 4.6% to 4.2%, in spite of concerns over Brexit and a struggling highstreet.
The number of people regarded as “economically inactive” ( those not working and not seeking or available to work) fell by 72,000, or 21.0% – the lowest since records began in 1971.
However, real-terms wages increased by just 0.4% excluding bonuses,and continue to lag behind inflation, which currently stands at around 2.4%.
Source: ‘Wage growth stuck in the slow lane’ despite high employment : Welfare Weekly