Changing direction: an open letter to Secretary of State for Work and Pensions

Abstract

Ekklesia and the Centre for Welfare Reform (two think tanks involved in pioneering research on alternatives in the area of welfare, social security and affirmative policies involving disabled and sick people) have come together to coordinate a letter from church leaders, academics, writers and advocates to the incoming Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, Stephen Crabb.

Following Stephen Crabb’s reversal of the cuts to Personal Independence Payments (PIP) overseen by his predecessor, Iain Duncan Smith, the open letter calls for further changes to PIP – including reverting to the previous mobility criterion, ability to walk no more than 50 metres, rather than the current test of being able to walk no more than 20 metres.

Signatories also want the UK government to reverse the Employment and Support Allowance (ESA) cut of £30 a week, to review the impact of benefit sanctions on the health of sick and disabled people, and to abolish the Bedroom Tax (spare room subsidy).

They further ask the new Secretary of State to “immediately examine the way your department [the DWP] has in the past responded to letters from coroners regarding the deaths of benefit claimants, particularly the Rule 43 'prevention of future deaths' process.”

* Read and download the full letter here (*.PDF Adobe Acrobat file, 235kb): http://www.ekklesia.co.uk/sites/ekklesia.co.uk/files/stephen_crabb_open_letter.pdf