WPC critical of Govt response to PIP assessment recommendations

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 Department has responded to this Review with a series of promises to do almost nothing for claimants.  
A woman in Wirral made doubly incontinent by cancer, although there are now no external signs of her cancer, has been refused PIP. She has no money. Feeding Birkenhead gave her amongst other things babies' nappies so she could get out of the house. 

We then found on making contact that she was cleaning the babies' nappies and reusing them as she was so ashamed to ask for new ones, and couldn’t afford to buy anything else. Thanks to Feeding Birkenhead she now has new ones, as well as some food and Christmas gifts for her grandchildren, while she awaits her Mandatory Reconsideration. 
We have heard literally thousands of accounts of the stress and suffering caused by the assessment process for PIP and ESA. We have heard of the externalised costs of this process, right through to the tribunal system that is left to overturn so many of the decisions that this process generates. But the human cost is immeasurable. 

Paul Gray made really clear, helpful, evidence-based recommendations, several which have been clearly articulated in evidence heard by the Committee. This response is a terrible missed opportunity that will provide no comfort to the claimants facing this ordeal."

The committee said that the response theoretically accepts or partially accepts all of Paul Gray's recommendations, but commits to doing very little, instead containing a remarkable variety of different phrases for not taking action now.