Dickson Supports Scrapping of PIP Assessment ’20 Metre Rule’

East Antrim Alliance MLA, Stewart Dickson, has criticised the current system of PIP Assessment as unfair and discriminatory towards people with MS.

Mr Dickson commented: “The current system of assessment for PIP requires people to walk an arbitrary 20 metres, but for many people with MS this fails to consider and capture fluctuation and hidden symptoms. It is clear the Government needs to replace this with a test based in the everyday reality of people with disabilities, and seek to support, rather than exclude to save money.” A recent MS Society Report found further negative impacts on people with MS as a result of welfare reform.

For example:

• 65% said the transition had a negative effect on their MS; • 39% had to reduce spending on food; • 30% reduced spending on treatments or therapies (such as physiotherapy and counselling); • 27% had to borrow money from family or friends.

Mr Dickson concluded: “We need a welfare system that supports everyone, and I will continue to fight for this against a UK Government that seems to be determined to destroy the social security net that we all rely upon.”

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