‘Privatisation of benefits assessments must end’ - Maskey
The privatisation of Personal Independence Payment (PIP) assessments should be immediately ended, Sinn Féin Anti-Poverty and Welfare Rights spokesperson, Alex Maskey MLA, has said.
The West Belfast MLA commented:
"A decade of a Tory austerity agenda has inflicted severe cuts to the welfare system and on support across society for vulnerable citizens.
"In the same period, the outsourcing of welfare provision has added further stress and complication to claimants, making it increasingly difficult to access benefits.
"As the evidence mounts, it is clear the privatisation of the assessment of people's entitlement to benefits, and specifically to PIP, is unjust and unnecessary.
"Statistics reveal that the number of claims rejected within the current assessment process, which are subsequently reinstated on appeal, remain high.
"Sinn Féin believes the Department for Communities should end the provision of welfare assessments by a private company, and return this crucial function to Department officials and health professionals."