Socialist Worker

Tories’ spiteful attack hits 150,000 disabled people

Issue No. 2543

Tory minister Penny Mordaunt

Tory minister Penny Mordaunt (Pic: Number 10)


Tory ministers have rewritten the law to deny increased benefit payments to more than 150,000 people.

Two tribunals had ruled in December that the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) should expand the reach of Personal Independence Payment (PIP)—which helps some disabled people fund their living costs.

That would cost £3.7 billion—so they unveiled emergency legislation last week to stop the change happening.

Tory disabilities minister Penny Mordaunt said her move would “make sure we are giving support to those who need it most”.

Disabled people are assessed for each type by totting up their circumstances under a “points” system, where eight points get a basic rate and 12 points an enhanced rate.

The first tribunal said more points should be available in the “mobility” element for people who suffer “overwhelming psychological distress” when travelling alone.

That would have handed new money to 143,000 people who previously received nothing for the mobility element of PIP.

Half of them would have received the enhanced rate of £57.45 a week, and the other half the standard rate of £21.80 a week, the DWP said.

Another 21,000 people would have moved from the standard to the enhanced rate, giving them an extra £35.65 a week.

The second tribunal recommended more points in the “daily living” element for people who need help to take medication and monitor a health condition.

This would have affected just over 1,000 people, a DWP impact assessment said.


Around 800 Motability cars a week are being snatched from disabled people as a result of cruel changes to the benefit system.

So far, 48,500 people have had their vehicles taken from them as they transfer from Disability Living Allowance (DLA) to PIP. This represents 45 percent of disabled people being reassessed as part of the move.

Meanwhile, the MS Society says it estimates 1,489 people with multiple sclerosis have had their mobility support downgraded since PIP started to replace DLA.


Coppers treat child victims like criminals

Cops are treating children who have suffered violent crimes like criminals, according to a new report. The Victims’ Commissioner report said children felt “they were not believed nor taken seriously because of their age”.

Eliza, aged 14, said, “The police questions came across like I was the perpetrator.”

Seventeen year old Hayley added, “Every time I went into the interview room I felt like a criminal.”

Gemma, also 17, said, “They didn’t care because we were teenage girls.”

Police recorded crime figures show that a disproportionate number of children and young people suffer violent and sexual offences. Just under a third of female rape victims are aged under 16 and many more crimes will go unreported.

It said, “Lessons are still not being learnt.”


Clive Lewis has denied he registered website addresses in preparation for a leadership bid.

Some four domain names all supporting Lewis for Labour leader were registered on 29 June last year—cliveforleader.co.uk; cliveforleader.org.uk; cliveforlabour.co.uk and cliveforlabour.org.uk2.

Lewis said, “None of this is true. I haven’t done this.”


Some people haven’t been watching the news. Cornwall council has voted to launch a campaign for Truro to become European Capital of Culture in 2023, an award decided by the European Union.

It seems an optimistic spend but the intrepid councillors have stumped up £536,000 on having a go.


The things they say


‘I haven’t said anything about who was and wasn’t in–um’

Michael Gove on whether Rupert Murdoch was in the room when he interviewed Donald Trump


‘Every day I try to do something to rescue the Labour Party from his leadership’

Former Labour cabinet minister Lord Mandelson attacks Jeremy Corbyn


‘Copeland has been held by Labour. The Tories haven’t taken Copeland’

David Dimbleby as BBC coverage goes a bit Oscars


‘The recognition of diversity has grown into a cancerous cultural tyranny’

Trevor Phillips, the former chair of the Equality and Human Rights Commission


‘We are probably not going to forecast the next financial crisis. Our models aren’t up to it’

Gertjan Vlieghe, a member of the Bank of England’s Monetary Policy Committee


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