The DWP “have no plans” to means test DLA or PIP, a DWP minister stated yesterday, ending weeks of doubt on the issue and following many MPs receiving emails on the issue from Benefits and Work members.
As Benefits and Work reported on 2 November, Mel Stride, the secretary of state for work and pensions refused to give an assurance that DLA and PIP would not be means tested
In answer to a question on the subject, he would only say:
“The right honourable gentleman is inviting me to break with what has been a very, very long-standing and quite correct convention that when it comes to a major fiscal event, ministers simply do not provide a running commentary as to what may or may not be in that fiscal event.”
We alerted our readers to the possibility and urged them to contact their MP on the subject. From your comments and emails we know that hundreds of you did so.
Yesterday the question was asked again in writing by Labour MP Marsha De Cordova
“To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, whether he plans to means test the (a) Disability Living Allowance and (b) Personal Independence Payment.
In answer, Tom Pursglove minister for disabled people at the DWP, replied:
“We have no plans to means test Disability Living Allowance (DLA) and Personal Independence Payment (PIP).
“Both DLA and PIP are intended to act as a contribution towards the extra costs that arise as a result of a long-term health condition, or disability, and have been non-means tested since they were introduced.”
So, it seems that the “very, very long-standing and quite correct convention” that ministers do not comment on fiscal events can, in reality, be broken – if enough people email their MPs on the subject.