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Ask your MP to oppose PIP changes and ESA cuts

March 07, 2017

Two motions been put forward in parliament to annul the recently announced changes that will reduce the number of people entitled to Personal Independence Payment (PIP) and the upcoming £30 cut to Work-Related Activity Group members of Employment and Support Allowance (ESA).

You can write to your MP and ask them to support these motions, to signal opposition to the changes using the template letter we have created and posted below - you can customise it with your details and either print it out or copy and paste it into an email. 

On 23 February, the UK government announced its intention to clarify two PIP activity descriptors, a change that will result in fewer people receiving the benefit. The government clarified that:

  • A person who needs supervision, prompting or assistance to be able to manage medication and monitor a health condition would score no more than one point under Activity 3
  • A person who has to be accompanied on journeys to avoid overwhelming psychological distress would score no more than four points under Activity 11

Additionally, the government has announced that new ESA claimants who are placed in the Work-Related Activity Group from 3 April 2017 will receive almost £30 less per week than ongoing claimants.

If an early-day motion receives enough signatures from MPs, it shows widespread parliamentary opposition to the government’s plans and can lead to the topic being debated in parliament.

If you are interested in writing to your MP, you can find their contact details here.

Template letter

Dear [insert MP’s name here]

I am writing to ask if you will sign Early day motion 985 and Early day motion 992.

I am a constituent with M.E., a chronic, neurological condition that affects more than 250,000 people in the UK. Symptoms include cognitive difficulties, chronic pain and severe and persistent fatigue. Many of those affected experience considerable barriers in accessing healthcare, welfare benefits and social care.

The government announced on 23 February that it will restrict the PIP activity descriptors, so that those who are unable to independently manage medication and those who are unable to make independent journeys due to psychological distress will score fewer points and will be less likely to receive the benefit. EDM 985 asks that this decision is annulled.

EDM 992 asks that the government’s plans to cut the Employment and Support Allowance benefit for those in the Work-related Activity Group, which will result in disabled people losing £30 per week, are annulled.

The changes to PIP descriptors and the ESA benefit amount will limit the support available to a large number of disabled people. Please can you signal your opposition to the government’s plans, which will result in the reduction or removal of benefits for those affected by disability and health conditions, and support these motions?

Yours sincerely,

[Insert your own name and your postcode here]