Durkan Welcomes Delay To DLA Reform

SDLP Social Development Spokesperson Mark H Durkan has welcomed news that DWP has delayed making changes to people's DLA assessment.

Mr Durkan made his remarks following an announcement which was made today by the Minister for Social Development on the delay.

Mr Durkan said:

The decision by DWP to delay the movement of existing DLA claimants with indefinite awards to new personal independence payments will give some relief and breathing space to those concerned that welfare reform will lead to them losing their much needed benefit.

Here our DSD Minister has attributed the decision to his view that DWP are listening to concerns of people on the ground. I am more inclined to think that it is due to technical difficulties.

The switch from DLA to Personal Independence Payments would have had a detrimental effect on thousands of lives and that is a point we have been making since the welfare reform debate started. We are glad therefore of the delay even though it is more attributable to incompetence than to understanding.

The delay will also give pause for thought as to whether the right choice was made in selecting Capita as the company to conduct reassessments, given their past record, which included what might be viewed as rank incompetence in their failure to properly implement the Westminster Government's Independent Learning Allowance scheme some years ago, at a huge cost to the taxpayer.

I would urge the Minister to use the space this delay creates and to find ways to further militate against the adverse impact of the Tory DLA Cuts, preferably by scrapping them altogether.



Further information: Mark H Durkan 07973363702
SDLP Press Office 028 9052 1364
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