The Conservative MP on Monday’s Newsnight needs a reality check. So here it is. [VIDEO]

Newsnight Debate PIP
Support us and go ad-free

On Monday 29 January Conservative MP Chris Philp appeared on BBC Newsnight. He took part in a debate about the Personal Independence Payment (PIP) for sick and disabled people.

But far from giving straight answers, Philp squirmed. So here’s a reality check on the Tory MP’s claims.

The Newsnight debate was about the government saying it would review 1.6 million peoples’ PIP claims. This came after a court ruled in December 2017 that changes the government had made to PIP were discriminatory.

Claim one

Host Emily Maitlis put it to Philp:

Why should anyone trust your government to get this right?

Philp then said we should “look at the whole picture” claiming:

The… Disability Allowance stroke PIP has gone from £13bn in 2010 to £16bn today. So when people say there’s been cuts to disability payments that isn’t true…

Read on...

Support us and go ad-free

His claim about ‘no cuts’ is not true.

Government figures show [pdf, p8] that between October 2013 and October 2017 nearly half of the people (46%) who previously had Disability Living Allowance either lost money or had their claim stopped altogether under PIP. This equates to nearly half a million sick and disabled people losing out.

Claim two

Philp’s second claim was:

There are 600,000 more disabled people in work, now, than there were four years ago…

This is correct, but probably due to benefit changes. For example, the government cut £30 a week from the Employment and Support Allowance (ESA) Work-Related Activity Group rate; meaning many sick and disabled people could no longer afford not to work. Even if they were too ill.

Claim three

Philp also claimed:

We spend more than every other G7 country, apart from Germany, on supporting people with disability and health problems.

This claim is based on the government’s claimed spending of around £50bn a year, or 6.4% of total government spending. This figure is not strictly true: the actual figure for disability-specific benefits is £39bn.

But in terms of spend as a percentage of GDP we’re actually joint ninth [png] in the EU with Poland; below Germany, France, the Netherlands and Nordic countries:DWP Spending disability

And as The Canary previously reported, on 24 January the Council of Europe said that benefits for disabled people, like ESA, were at “manifestly inadequate” levels.

A “human catastrophe”

Philp may have ‘talked the talk’ in terms of what the Conservative government does for disabled people. But scratch the surface, and the reality for UK disabled people is one that the UN described as a “human catastrophe”, where people are literally dying due to government policy.

Watch the full debate:

Get Involved!

– Support Disabled People Against Cuts (DPAC), fighting for disabled people’s rights.

Featured image via YouTube

Support us and go ad-free

Do your bit for independent journalism

Did you know that less than 1.5% of our readers contribute financially to The Canary? Imagine what we could do if just a few more people joined our movement to achieve a shared vision of a free and fair society where we nurture people and planet.

We need you to help out, if you can.

When you give a monthly amount to fund our work, you are supporting truly independent journalism. We hold power to account and have weathered many attempts to shut us down and silence the counterpoint to the mainstream.

You can count on us for rigorous journalism and fearless opposition to an increasingly fascist government and right wing mainstream media.

In return you get:

  • Advert free reading experience
  • Behind the scenes monthly e-newsletter
  • 20% discount from our shop


The Canary Fund us

Comments are closed