Socialist Worker

PIP high court judgement shows the benefits of fighting

Issue No. 2589

Protesting against PIP in Norfolk, 2016

Protesting against PIP in Norfolk, 2016 (Pic: Roger Blackwell/Flickr)


The Tories have been forced to make a major U-turn on benefits.

A High Court ruling last December that said the government had been “blatantly discriminatory” towards people with mental health problems.

The Tories had tried to stop people qualifying for higher Personal Independence Payments (Pip) if they were suffering “psychological distress”.

The Tories have decided not to challenge the ruling and will instead review all 1.6 million disability benefit claims made over the last four years. This could see 220,000 claimants eventually receive higher awards—and get money backdated.

The case exposed the Tories’ contempt for vulnerable people.

The judge said the move to exclude people suffering psychological distress from higher payments was based on nothing more than “subjective opinion”.

The climbdown is a victory. But the review could take years while the Tory onslaught continues.

Pip claimants live in constant fear of losing benefits. Nearly half of Pip claimants had their money cut or halted in 2016 due to reviews.

Some 20 percent of Pip claimants had their payments cut after review in 2016, compared to 10 percent in 2014.

It’s good the Tories have been pushed back and it shows that campaigning can get results.

Let’s keep fighting to scrap all of their attacks on benefits.


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