Justin Madders, MP for Ellesmere Port and Neston, met with people living with multiple sclerosis (MS) to hear about the devastating impact the disability benefit, Personal Independence Payment (PIP) is having.
According to new research by the MS Society, PIP’s 20 metre rule is causing people with MS to lose support at an alarming scale and is costing the NHS at least an additional £7.7 million a year in GP and A&E services.
Under the previous benefit, Disability Living Allowance (DLA), people who couldn’t walk more than 50 metres were eligible for the higher rate of mobility support, but under PIP that measure has been reduced to 20 metres; resulting in a reduction of support to many people with MS.
“Contrary to the Government’s insistence that PIP is meant to help those with the greatest needs, the truth is it’s causing enormous harm to people with MS, with many losing their independence as a result.
“The 20 metre rule was strongly opposed by charities, people with MS and medical professionals when it was first introduced, and we’re still waiting for the Government to provide any sort of evidence of how it helps those who need support the most. Enough is enough; PIP needs to change, starting with the Government scrapping the 20 metre rule.
“I hope you will show your support by signing the MS Society’s petition to Esther McVey, Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, urging the Government to scrap the 20 metre rule – mssociety.org.uk/scrap20mrule.”