A wasted opportunity – with big knock-on costs

wheelchair man on beach

Our simplest and most basic demand of the Scottish Government has been for more help for people to get the benefits they are due, but by focusing their efforts on the promotion of devolved benefits, they are missing the opportunity to help vulnerable lives both now and in the future.

Most at risk – as so often – are the sick and disabled. The DWP makes no attempt to estimate the take up rate of DLA and PIP. Of course it is not easy to estimate how many people who have not applied for these would be eligible, but it is a crucial part of providing a social security service.  Although the Scottish Social Security Committee is discussing these issues, this is happening too late – and not just for those missing out now. When Scotland takes over the running of disability benefits in 2020/21, the funds they will have to do this will depend to a large extent on the money claimed in Scotland for DLA and PIP this year. A big drive to encourage and help people to apply is needed NOW.

(Thanks to Ian Davidson for drawing our attention to this.)

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One thought on “A wasted opportunity – with big knock-on costs

  1. On reflection, I suspect that Scot Gov will argue that to go ahead with a PIP uptake campaign now would upset the delicate relations being established via the joint ministerial committee? Whatever the rhetoric at other levels, this committee has to work if Scot Gov devolved benefits are to be effectively implemented. Again, the history is that DWP backlash against take up campaigns in the 80s led to legislation which restricted ability to mount future campaigns. When New Labour took over in 1997, there was a definite “toning down” of local authority welfare rights esp re “work is route out of poverty etc”. I suspect that many SUWN readers would be surprised at the level of cooperation at both political and administrative levels ongoing between DWP and Scot Gov? There is also the question of the details of any agreement on DWP suspending Scottish DLA to PIP migration so that such claims can be dealt with under the more sympathetic Scottish regime. A wasted opportunity indeed!

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