December 2017

Please note that our office is now closed for Christmas and will re-open on Tuesday 2 January.

We'd like to wish all our members and friends a very Merry Christmas and we send our best wishes for 2018.

The Work and Pensions Committee has criticised the Government response to the Second Independent Review of the Personal Independence Payment Assessment, conducted by Paul Gray CB.

Commenting on the Government's response Frank Field MP, Chair of the Committee, said:

The Work and Pensions Committee published its Seventh Report of Session 2016–17, Disability employment gap (HC 56) on 3 February 2017.

The Government’s response was received on 30 November 2017 and is attached. 

https://publications.parliament.uk/pa/cm201719/cmselect/cmworpen/652/652...

The Work and Pensions Committee has launched a new inquiry into assistive technology, following up on its inquiry into the Disability employment gap (DEG). This will lead to the second in what will be a series of reports aimed at getting the Government offering disabled people real opportunities to get into work.

"Assistive technology" includes a range of products, equipment, and systems that enhance learning, working, and daily living for people with disabilities. 

This inquiry is about the role all types of assistive technology can play in removing barriers to work and helping disabled people stay in work. It could be accessible hardware and software, developments in apps, wearable technology - technology that helps people get to work, or use the building once they do, as well as things that facilitate work itself. 

The Government has announced a package of support worth nearly £45 million to provide additional help for children with special educational needs and disabilities (SEND). The funding will be distributed among local authorities through a Section 31 grant. Letters have been sent to each local authority in January 2018. This funding is not ring-fenced and we advise that members urgently approach your local authority education department to discuss how the funds will be used.

The package of funding includes: