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Work and Pensions Committee

Select Committee Announcement

10 November 2011
For Immediate Release:
AN55 2010–12

FORTHCOMING PUBLICATION:

GOVERNMENT RESPONSE TO THE COMMITTEE’S REPORT ON INCAPACITY BENEFIT REASSESSMENT

The Work and Pensions Committee will publish the Government response to its Sixth Report of Session 2010-12, The role of incapacity benefit reassessment in helping claimants into employment (HC 1641), on Friday 11 November at 11.00 am.

Further information

Committee membership: Dame Anne Begg MP (Chair) (Lab, Aberdeen South), Mrs Debbie Abrahams MP (Oldham East and Saddleworth), Harriett Baldwin MP (Con, West Worcestershire), Andrew Bingham MP (Con, High Peak), Karen Bradley MP (Con, Staffordshire Moorlands), Sheila Gilmore (Lab, Edinburgh East), Mr Oliver Heald MP (Con, North East Hertfordshire), Glenda Jackson MP (Lab, Hampstead and Highgate), Brandon Lewis MP, (Con, Great Yarmouth), Stephen Lloyd MP (Lib Dem, Eastbourne), Teresa Pearce MP (Lab, Erith and Thamesmead).

Specific Committee Information: workpencom@parliament.uk 020 7219 2839
Media Information: bridgespalmerj@parliament.uk 020 7219 0724
Committee Website: http://www.parliament.uk/workpencom

Watch committees and parliamentary debates online: http://www.parliamentlive.tv

Publications/Reports/Reference Material:
Copies of all select committee reports are available from the Parliamentary Bookshop (12 Bridge St, Westminster, 020 7219 3890) or the Stationery Office (0845 7023474). Committee reports, press releases, evidence transcripts, Bills; research papers, a directory of MPs, plus Hansard (from 8am daily) and much more, can be found on http://www.parliament.uk

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Work and Pensions Committee

Select Committee Announcement

13 October 2011
For Immediate Release:
AN52 2010–12

ORAL EVIDENCE

Proposal to replace DLA with Personal Independence Payment

——————————————————————————–

Wednesday 19 October 2011, Grimond Room, Portcullis House

At 9.30 am

Professor Steve Fothergill, Centre for Regional Economic and Social Research, Sheffield Hallam University
Sue Royston, Social Policy Officer, Citizens Advice
Professor Roy Sainsbury, Research Director, Social Policy Research Unit, University of York.
Claudia Wood, Head of Public Services and Welfare Programme, Demos

The Work and Pensions Committee has launched an inquiry into the Government’s proposal to introduce Personal Independence Payment (PIP) from 2013, replacing Disability Living Allowance (DLA) for working age claimants by 2015/16.

PIP will be similar to DLA in that it will be a non-means tested, non-contributory tax-free cash benefit paid to people whose disabilities mean they incur extra costs in everyday life; however, the Government aims to simplify the benefit and reduce expenditure by introducing a new assessment for PIP and by changing some of the current rules. The changes include: systematic periodic review of most PIP awards; ending automatic entitlement for specific conditions; replacing DLA’s three rates in the care component with two rates in the new daily living component; and extending the Qualifying Period from 3 months to 6 months.

This is the first evidence session in the inquiry. The Committee will explore the case for reform and the Government’s approach to it. It will also consider the current draft of the new PIP assessment, plans for its delivery and the Government’s communication strategy.

Further information
Written evidence:
Interested organisations and individuals were invited to submit written evidence before 26 August 2011. The evidence received has been published on the committee’s website.
Committee membership:

Dame Anne Begg MP (Chair) (Lab, Aberdeen South), Mrs Debbie Abrahams MP (Oldham East and Saddleworth), Harriett Baldwin MP (Con, West Worcestershire), Andrew Bingham MP (Con, High Peak), Karen Bradley MP (Con, Staffordshire Moorlands), Kate Green MP (Lab, Stretford and Urmston), Mr Oliver Heald MP (Con, North East Hertfordshire), Glenda Jackson MP (Lab, Hampstead and Highgate), Brandon Lewis MP, (Con, Great Yarmouth), Stephen Lloyd MP (Lib Dem, Eastbourne), Teresa Pearce MP (Lab, Erith and Thamesmead)

Specific Committee Information: workpencom@parliament.uk 020 7219 2839

Media Information: bridgespalmerj@parliament.uk 020 7219 0724

Committee Website: http://www.parliament.uk/workpencom
Watch committees and parliamentary debates online: http://www.parliamentlive.tv

Publications/Reports/Reference Material:

Copies of all select committee reports are available from the Parliamentary Bookshop (12 Bridge St, Westminster, 020 7219 3890) or the Stationery Office (0845 7023474). Committee reports, press releases, evidence transcripts, Bills; research papers, a directory of MPs, plus Hansard (from 8am daily) and much more, can be found on http://www.parliament.uk

Hannah Beattie
Committee Assistant
Work and Pensions Committee
House of Commons
0207 219 2180
beattieh@parliament.uk

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Welfare to work
The Work Programme

The Government launched the Work Programme nationally in June 2011, ahead of schedule. The Work Programme is the biggest payment by results employment programme we have ever seen and along with the introduction of Universal Credit it is the focus of the Government’s drive to tackle long term unemployment.

The Committee’s report is supportive of most of the principles of the Work Programme but highlights some areas where the Committee have concerns.

Conclusions and recommendations

Read the governments response The Response

See the full select committee report The Full Report

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Work and Pensions Committee

 Select Committee Announcement

14 July 2011

For Immediate Release:

AN48 2010–12

 

Publication of special report:

 

Government responds to Select Committee report on contracting arrangements

Report of Session 2010–12 HC 1439: 6th Special Report of Session 2010–12

To be published at 11.00 a.m. on Monday 18 July 2011

 

The Report will be available to download from the Committee’s website on the day of publication. Click here

 

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Work and Pensions Committee

 

Select Committee Announcement

12 July 2011

For Immediate Release:

AN46 2010–12

 

 

NEW INQUIRY

 

Proposal to replace DLA with Personal Independence Payment

 

The Government set out its proposals to replace Disability Living Allowance (DLA) for working-age claimants with a new benefit: the Personal Independence Payment (PIP) in a Green Paper, Disability Living Allowance reform, published in December 2010.

 

The Government stated that the purpose of the proposed benefit will remain the same — to “contribute to the extra costs of overcoming the barriers faced by disabled people to lead full and active lives”. The benefit will also remain non-means tested and non-taxable, payment will not be dependent on claimants having paid sufficient National Insurance contributions, it will be payable regardless of employment status and it will continue to act as a gateway to other benefits such as Carers Allowance and the Motability Scheme.

 

The Government believes that the introduction of PIP will lead to an increased focus on those with the greatest needs; and a reduction in caseload and expenditure, achieved by revising the eligibility criteria and introducing an objective assessment for eligibility. Other key changes include: ending automatic entitlement for certain conditions and impairments; regular review of all awards; two rates in the “daily living” component (rather than three in the “care” component of DLA); and extending the qualifying period to six months.

 

The Government published its response to the consultation on the Green Paper proposals in April 2011. PIP will be introduced for all working-age claimants from 2013 (subject to the passage of the Welfare Reform Bill currently going through its parliamentary stages).

 

 

The Work and Pensions Committee has decided to conduct an inquiry into the PIP proposals which will focus on the following issues:

 

  • The need for DLA reform, including: how well understood DLA is; why the DLA caseload and expenditure has increased; the effectiveness of the decision-making and review process for DLA.
  • The implications of a reduction in expenditure, including: the implications of focusing on those with the greatest needs; the likely impact of having only two rates of PIP in the ‘daily living’ component; the number of current DLA recipients who would not be eligible for PIP.
  • The extent to which overlaps in funding exist, particularly with local authority and NHS funding, and including for people in residential care or hospital.
  • Whether automatic entitlement should apply to people with some conditions or impairments and whether some people should receive awards for indefinite periods.
  • The implications of a six month qualifying period.
  • The extent to which PIP will act as a gateway to other benefits, including Carers Allowance and the Motability Scheme.
  • The design of the PIP assessment, including: the assessment criteria and design; whether the assessment can objectively assess those with mental, intellectual and cognitive conditions and with fluctuating conditions; and the extent to which aids and appliances should be taken into account in the assessment.
  • The delivery of the PIP assessment, including: who should carry it out; the approach to tendering for the assessment contract; who should make the award decisions;  whether there are  lessons to be learned from the Harrington Review of the Work Capability Assessment; and interaction with other eligibility assessments.
  • How DLA/PIP should apply to children and people over the state pension age
  • The steps DWP needs to take to ensure that its reform proposals are clearly and effectively communicated to claimants and the general public.
  • Transitional arrangements

 

Short submissions (no more than 3,000 words) are invited from interested organisations and individuals.

 

 

The deadline for written evidence is Friday 2 September 2011.

 

How to submit your evidence

 

  • Contributors should feel no obligation to comment on all the issues raised above, but should focus on those areas in which they have particular expertise or interest.

 

  • Submissions should be in Word or rich text format, not PDF format, and sent by email to workpencom@parliament.uk  The body of the email must include a contact name, telephone number and postal address. The email should also make clear who the submission is from. Hard copy submissions should be sent to: The Work and Pensions Committee, House of Commons, 7 Millbank, London SW1P 3JA.

 

  • Submissions should be in the format of a self-contained piece of written evidence. Paragraphs should be numbered for ease of reference, and the document must include a summary. For further guidance on the submission of evidence see

http://www.parliament.uk/documents/commons-committees/witnessguide.pdf

 

  • Submissions should be original work, not previously published or circulated elsewhere. Material already published elsewhere may be referred to within a proposed piece of written evidence, in which case a hard copy of the published work should be included.

 

  • Once submitted, your submission becomes the property of the Committee and no public use should be made of it unless you have first obtained permission from the Clerk of the Committee. It is the Committee’s decision whether or not to accept a submission as formal written evidence.

 

  • Please bear in mind that the Committee cannot investigate individual cases.

 

  • The Committee normally, though not always, chooses to publish the written evidence it receives, either by printing the evidence, publishing it on the internet (where it will be accessible by search engines) or by making it publicly available through the Parliamentary Archives. If there is any information you believe to be sensitive you should highlight it and explain what harm you believe would result from its disclosure. The Committee will take this into account in deciding whether to publish or further disclose the evidence.

 

  • For data protection purposes, it would be helpful if individuals wishing to submit written evidence send their contact details in a covering letter. You should be aware that there may be circumstances in which the House of Commons will be required to communicate information to third parties on request, in order to comply with its obligations under the Freedom of Information Act 2000.

 

 

Further information

 

Committee membership:  Dame Anne Begg MP (Chair) (Lab, Aberdeen South), Debbie Abrahams MP (Lab, Oldham East and Saddleworth), Harriett Baldwin MP (Con, West Worcestershire), Andrew Bingham MP (Con, High Peak), Karen Bradley MP (Con, Staffordshire Moorlands), Kate Green MP (Lab, Stretford and Urmston), Mr Oliver Heald MP (Con, North East Hertfordshire), Glenda Jackson MP (Lab, Hampstead and Highgate), Brandon Lewis MP, (Con, Great Yarmouth), Stephen Lloyd MP (Lib Dem, Eastbourne), Teresa Pearce MP (Lab, Erith and Thamesmead)

 

Specific Committee Informationworkpencom@parliament.uk 020 7219 5832

 

Media Information: Jessica Bridges-Palmer  bridgespalmerj@parliament.uk 020 7219 0724

 

Committee Website: www.parliament.uk/workpencom

 

Watch committees and parliamentary debates onlinewww.parliamentlive.tv

 

Publications/Reports/Reference Material: Copies of all select committee reports are available from the Parliamentary Bookshop (12 Bridge St, Westminster, 020 7219 3890) or the Stationery Office (0845 7023474).  Committee reports, press releases, evidence transcripts, Bills; research papers, a directory of MPs, plus Hansard (from 8am daily) and much more, can be found on www.parliament.uk

 

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Mr Grayling was giving evidence to the Work and Pensions Committee about the government’s efforts to move more people off incapacity benefit and its successor – Employment and Support Allowance – if they are capable of work.

Employment Minister Chris Grayling has denied claims the government had helped fuel press coverage labelling benefit claimants as “workshy”.

He told MPs that tabloid stories had left him “bemused” and he had been criticised for saying people should not be judged as “scroungers”.

But MPs told him there had been a “shocking” failure by ministers to sell welfare reforms as a good news story.

Labour’s Glenda Jackson said it had been sold as “attacking the workshy”.

Mr Grayling said that many people had been effectively abandoned on benefits and the aim of the WCA was to identify those who could return to work.

 “This is not about forcing people who can’t work into work.”

The Minister was challenged about press releases from the Department for Work and Pensions – and media coverage of the reforms which suggested many of those on incapacity benefit were “workshy”.

Ms Jackson asked him: “Why has the government sold this programme, or attempted to sell this programme, as attacking the workshy?… This has had a very serious impact on people out there.”

 

Committee chairman Dame Anne Begg said the DWP press release had stated that 70% of claimants “could work” – without stressing that 30% were eligible for Jobseekers Allowance and would require extra help to get ready for work and 40% “might be fit for work some time in the future – if they get better”.

 

Mr Grayling said neither he, nor Work and Pensions Secretary Iain Duncan Smith, had used disparaging terms such as “scroungers” .

“We as ministers in the Department for Work and Pensions go out of our way to set out what we are doing in the context of helping people… and we don’t use some of the language that has been used on some outlets.”

He said he had gone to some lengths to stress the positive aspects of the plan – writing articles for newspapers, letters to local newspapers, webchats and meetings with voluntary groups and Jobcentre teams.

“Sometimes stories run in a way that completely bemuse me,” he said.

“The challenge for us, through the assessment process, is to re-energise those people and focus them on the things they can do.”

But he also said there was a “duty on the party of representative groups” – like charities – not to use “strong language” which could exacerbate concerns.

He said that he hoped that as the welfare reforms began to take effect, there would be more positive “role models” of people who had been long-term unemployed and had got back into work, who could help ease concerns among others.

 

Chris Collins

Business Development

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Work & Pensions Committee Work Programme report

  • There is a risk that providers of the Government’s new Work Programme might focus their attention on jobseekers who are easier to place in work, at the expense of those who face greater challenges to finding jobs, according to a report published today (8 May 2011) by the Work and Pensions Select Committee.
  • The report, Work Programme: providers and contracting arrangements, also warns that the £5 billion Work Programme presents significant financial risks for the Government and its service providers.
  • The Report welcomes many of the Work Programme’s design principles, which continue the direction of the previous Government’s employment programmes, particularly the Flexible New Deal.

AN37 Work and Pensions Committee Work Programme report

HC 718 Work Programme Report

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