16th June 2021
Ian Gunn looks at the Supreme Court Judgment in Mrs Claire Tomlinson-Blake’s case against her employer, Mencap, which was handed down on 19th March 2021.
The assessment process for these benefits affects so many PFP clients. A significant proportion of the welfare benefit advice we provide is in response to failings with the assessment. Whilst it has been dispiriting to read recent reports on this topic, there is a little optimism that change may follow.
The House of Commons, Work and Pensions Select Committee, inquiry into the assessment process Welfare benefits have been back in the news. The delays and difficulties with claiming Universal Credit made the headlines recently, resulting in some welcome and surprising good news as the government reacted with positive policy changes. for ESA and PIP has received an unprecedented response. Usually the committee receives 100 responses to calls for evidence however, for this inquiry, over 3,000 people and organisations have submitted evidence revealing frustration and despair with the ESA and PIP assessments.
This follows two recent reports into the same issue. The Rethink Mental Illness report, ‘It’s Broken Her’, published in December 2017, finds the assessment process for both ESA and PIP is utterly unsuitable for those living with a mental illness. The report suggests assessments inherently discriminate against those with mental illness, effectively worsening the claimant’s health, and calls for an urgent comprehensive reform of the assessment process to make it fit for purpose.
An earlier survey in October 2017, from over 80 organisations that make up the Disability Benefits Consortium (DBC), had similar findings. In a survey of over 1,700 people with long-term conditions including Parkinson’s, multiple sclerosis, epilepsy and mental health problems, more than three quarters (79%) of respondents said their assessment for PIP had made their health worse due to stress and anxiety. Key findings include:
Ian Gunn considers whether cash is still ‘real money’.
Ian Gunn considers the investigation of Dame Elizabeth Gloster into London Capital & Finance plc (“LCF”), a failed financial firm, and into the Financial Conduct Authority’s regulation of it. Her report was presented to Parliament at the end of last year.
Ian Gunn considers whether the Retail Prices Index finally to be laid to rest
Investors would do well to bear in mind these words from Gilbert & Sullivan’s HMS Pinafore, since things are seldom what they seem in financial markets. Ian Gunn considers a couple of examples, past and present.
Richard Cropper confirms that the feared post-Brexit risks have gone away.
Richard Cropper notes the positive impact of the Financial Services (Gibraltar) (Amendment) (EU Exit) Regulations 2020