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‘Cruel British Government adding to suffering’ - Maskey

18 July, 2018 - by Alex Maskey

Sinn Féin Welfare Spokesperson Alex Maskey MLA has strongly criticised the British Government after it rejected a cross-party request for a controversial element of the Personal Independence Payments (PIP) for terminally-ill claimants to be amended.

Alex Maskey said: “PIP currently allows for applications to be fast-tracked without an assessment for claimants with a terminal illness who have a life-expectancy of no more than six months. However, the evidence shows that this time period is much too restrictive and should be extended to all those facing a terminal illness.

“Therefore, the five main parties here made a joint request calling on the British Government to scrap the six-month time restriction.

“We have just received the response from the Department for Work and Pensions and it is deeply disappointing that they are standing over the six-month timeframe.

“I believe there can be no justification for this cruel decision as it blatantly ignores the evidence from clinicians and claimants that this rule is adding further trauma to people who are already suffering grievously.

“It is for this reason that the Scottish parliament has already introduced new legislation to rescind the six-month limit and we will continue to lobby for the same to happen here.”

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