Pat McFadden calls for 'fundamental reform' to disability allowance

By Pete Madeley | Politics | Published:

Pat McFadden has called for a 'fundamental reform' to the 'inhumane' assessment and distribution of disability allowance.

Pat McFadden with Martin Wright.

The Wolverhampton South East's claims come after he challenged the decision to cut the Personal Independence Payment (PIP) benefits allocated to one of his constituents, Martin Wright.

Mr Wright suffered a 'life-changing' accident at work several years ago and has since been unable to work.

Despite no improvement to his condition, he was reassessed three times in three years by the Department of Work and Pensions only to see his benefit cut incorrectly, a subsequent appeal decided.

Mr Wright's wife Barbara approached Mr McFadden and the Labour MP helped to successfully overturn the assessment.

But Mr McFadden said he was concerned that similar unfair cuts of PIP payments – introduced by the Conservatives in 2013 – were being sanctioned by the DWP.

"I'm really pleased for Martin and for his wife Barbara who has fought so hard for him but I'm also concerned that too many other people are suffering the kind of decision that Martin suffered unfairly," he said.

"I don't think this system is working properly, I think it needs fundamental reform, I think it's inhumane at times in the way that it works and I want to see fundamental change in it so that more people can get a fair decision."

He continued: "I am pleased to say that the Department of Work and Pensions has now restored Martin’s PIP allowance and also given him a guarantee that he won't be reassessed for a further ten years."

Mr McFadden raised the topic in Parliament and Minister for the DWP, Sarah Newton, responded by stating customer satisfaction surveys found most people were satisfied with the assessment process.

But Mr McFadden said that each assessment within the Wolverhampton South East constituency had been overturned on appeal.

Pete Madeley

By Pete Madeley

Political Editor for the Express & Star. Responsible for local and national political stories, opinion, comment and analysis.


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