Lords discusses Personal Independence Payment

The Department for Work and Pensions.
27 March 2017

Members of the House of Lords discussed draft regulations on eligibility for Personal Independence Payment (PIP) on Monday 27 March.

Members of the Lords discussed the detail of the regulations, and there was a division (vote) on each motion.

Baroness Bakewell of Hardington Mandeville (Liberal Democrat) moved a motion to annul the regulations, which would have stopped them from passing. In the vote on this motion, 75 members were for with 164 against. The motion was not agreed.

Baroness Sherlock (Labour) moved a motion to regret the introduction of the regulations. In the vote on this motion, 162 members were for with 154 against. The motion was agreed.

This motion does not stop the regulations from passing or force the government to take action, but provides an opportunity for the House to put on record a critical point of view.

About the Social Security (Personal Independence Payment) (Amendment) Regulations 2017

Two court cases at the end of 2016 ruled against the Department for Work and Pensions’ (DWP) interpretation of two of the descriptors used to determine whether a claimant is eligible for Personal Independence Payment (PIP) and at what rate. DWP stated that, if unchanged, the broadened definitions would cost the taxpayer hundreds of millions of pounds. These regulations amend the descriptors to clarify the DWP’s policy intention and limit expenditure. Concerns have been raised that these changes treat mental and physical disability differently and move away from the ‘parity of esteem’ that the Welfare Reform Act 2012 originally intended.

How does this draft instrument become law?

These regulations are subject to the negative procedure, meaning that they would not normally be debated unless a member objects by putting down a motion. These regulations were laid on 23 February 2017 and the two motions were debated on Monday 27 March.

Further information

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