PIP delays underline need for devolved welfare powers

UK Government delays to paying out in full money that up to 220,000 disabled people are entitled to underlines the need for social security powers to come to Holyrood, Angela Crawley has said – after DWP Minister Esther McVey announced that those entitled wouldn’t receive their payments until the end of summer.

The claimants are entitled to a higher rate of PIP after the High Court ruled that Tory assessment rules were “blatantly discriminatory”, with up to 220,000 people getting extra money backdated to 2016 – but this has now been delayed by Tory government.

Angela Crawley has said that this kind of cruelty underlines exactly why powers over social security need to come to Scotland – where the Scottish Government is currently building a new social security system on dignity and respect, removing the sanctions regime from its work programme, and taking steps to increase the support people are entitled to.

Commenting, Angela said: “This is simply the latest harmful act from a cruel Tory government – underlining exactly why these powers should come to Holyrood.

“For the Tories to delay these payments, which the High Court has ruled that people are entitled to, is a devastating blow to many people, who are being forced to wait even longer for the money they deserve – having already been through lengthy court proceedings.

“The money should have been paid in November 2016 – but it will now be late summer 2018 at the very earliest for over 200,000 people. It is a disgrace.

“These powers should be urgently devolved to Holyrood, where we are currently building a new social security system based on dignity and respect – supporting claimants rather than victimising them.

“Our communities simply cannot afford for the cruel Tory government to hold these powers any longer.”