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Barnsley MP slams ‘callous’ Government over welfare mistakes

Stephanie Peacock, MP for Barnsley East, has slammed the Government after revealing figures that show around two thirds of Barnsley residents who appealed their welfare rejections were shown to be eligible.

The local MP forced the omission from a Government Minister through a Parliamentary Question relating to ESA and PIP payments.

Employment and Support Allowance (ESA) provides both help for those unable to work through illness or disability and support when they can work, while Personal Independence Payments (PIP) helps to cover the extra costs caused by serious disability or long-term ill-health.

The figures revealed by Stephanie (pictured) show that across 2017, of the Barnsley residents who appealed the initial rejection of their PIP application, 63 per cent were eventually found to be entitled.

Of those denied ESA, the figure of those successful in overturning the decision and found eligible on appeal rose to 65 per cent.

The news follows the MP’s recent public criticism of similarly overturned punitive benefits sanctions which are shown to be incorrect on appeal.

According to Stephanie, 30 per cent of decisions to impose sanctions to Universal Credit recipients by the Government are acknowledged as incorrect by the Government themselves, with a further 83 per cent squashed by independent tribunals.

She said: “Support provided by these welfare entitlements are absolutely vital both at home and at work for people who through no fault of their own have fallen on hard times.

“Yet the recently admitted figures show just how cruelly vulnerable people have been treated by this callous Tory Government; where those eventually proved entitled to help are simply being denied it.

“The number of incorrect decisions is staggering; when nearly two out of every three decisions that are appealed are shown to be wrong, it’s clear the system is broken.

“This failing Tory Government must immediately address these errors, and explain why they are denying basic support to so many vulnerable people here in Barnsley and across the UK.”

 

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