PIP has cost up to £2 billion more than keeping DLA

Tue,15 January 2019
News Benefits

Government disability benefit spending has increased by 15% to 20% cent despite the aim of reducing it by a fifth according to a new Office for Budget Responsibility (OBR) report.

The OBR says today that the introduction of PIP has cost £4 billion more than estimated due to DWP predictions dramatically under-estimating the costs of its roll out from 2013.

So, while a saving of £2 billion was expected by 2018, this has since been revised to an over-spend by up to the same amount leaving an estimated £4.2 billion gap in public finances.

Chair of the Work and Pensions Committee, Frank Field said:

“DWP told us PIP would save taxpayers money and introduce a fair, transparent assessment process. Today’s report lays bare that it has achieved neither …Far worse, though, is that the PIP assessments are riddled with repeated and serious errors and have caused untold anxiety and misery for far too many of the people who rely on the benefit to live.”

In February 2018, the Work and Pensions Committee published a damning report on PIP and ESA that highlighted “the pervasive lack of trust” undermining PIP’s operation that was “translating into untenable human costs to claimants and financial costs to the public purse”.

Ken Butler DR UK’s Welfare Rights and Policy Officer said:

“The OBR’s findings will feel like a kick in the teeth to the many thousands of disabled people whose incomes, independence and physical and mental well-being has been blighted by PIP.

"Those hardest hit by austerity have been disabled people and this has been a deliberate result of Government policy.

"Just one example is our Freedom of Information Act request response which shows that around half of DLA claimants who were in receipt of its higher mobility rate are still being refused the enhanced rate mobility component on their moving to PIP.

"In effect, this means that around half of DLA claimants have lost potential entitlement to the Motability scheme. Those disabled people who have lost all entitlement to mobility support have lost £59.75 per week (the equivalent of £3,107 per year).

"PIP is not just failing those disabled people deliberately excluded by its severe eligibility restrictions. It is also failing those disabled people who are wrongly being refused entitlement to it.  Over 70% of PIP (and ESA) appeals are found in favour of the claimant.

"What the Government needs to do is completely overhaul the flawed PIP system and replace it with one that identifies the true extra costs of living with disability."

The OBR’s Welfare trends report - January 2019 is available from https://obr.uk