The Department of Work and Pensions have today announced that they will hold a “further consultation on the mobility component of Personal Independence Payment (PIP)”.
This follows the outcry after the threshold to be eligible for the most help with moving around was tightened from fifty metres to twenty metres with no indication during the consultation that this would be the case. Myself and two others had initiated a Judicial Review against the DWP to declare the consultation invalid and force a rethink. The Judicial Review would have taken place at the end of July.
The DWP would very much like you to believe that it is holding this new consultation because it is a kind and listening department and their announcement does not mention the court proceedings at all.
“However, the department has received significant feedback from disabled people and their organisations that they want a further opportunity to comment on the finalised assessment criteria rules around the mobility component. That is why it is now giving notice of a further consultation to be launched late June.”
However the emails sent out to my solicitor and to members of the stakeholder consultation forum had a subject line of “Re: Judicial Review” so make of that what you will.
While this new consultation is very good news it is not an admission that the twenty metre eligibility is wrong or an indication that the DWP will change their minds. We will have six weeks to make sure that the DWP has no choice but to admit that the twenty metre limit will cause serious harm to a great deal of people, withdrawing support from people that desperately need it. I will publish details of how to contribute to the consultation once they are available.
I will be discussing with my solicitor and other people involved what step to take next.