On Monday I was drawn to question the Minister in Work and Pensions questions on Personal Independence Payments.
I asked the Minister why did the Minister not consult the Social Security Advisory Committee, where her contentions about the impact of this benefit could have been challenged?
The Minister responded that the “Committee is within its rights to look at the decision. It did so, and it concluded that it would not formally review that decision. We have used the urgency procedure, as it was within our rights to do, to establish certainty. We do not want there to be a long period of uncertainty around this”.
But surely it is right and proper for decisions of this nature to go to the Social Security Advisory Committee so that an in depth evaluation could be undertaken by experts and impartial witnesses. This Government needs to learn that the voice of experts is not something you should ignore.
During Work and Pensions questions on Monday, as well as being drawn to ask a question on Personal Independence Payments, I was able to ask a Topical Question.
I ask the Minister, following the news that Santander bank is offering 1 hour zero hours contracts taking away any job security to those seeking work, if he would pledge that the Department of Work and Pensions would ban the advertisement of any job like that in a Jobcentre in this country.
The Minister dodged my question. Instead he chose to talk about zero hours contracts in general, instead of focusing on the specifics of 1 hour zero hour contracts. It demonstrates a detachment from the world of work and people’s desire for stable decent jobs.
I will be presenting petitions gathered and collected by WASPI campaigners to parliament on the 11th October 2016.
In the mid-1990s the then Conservative Government introduced legislation to make bring the State Pension Age of women come into line with men. However, many women were not notified of the increase in their state pension age until very recently, leaving them with very little time to prepare for the change in the law. Read more “Date set to present WASPI Petition to Parliament”