MSP Wishart backs campaign to scrap ‘crude and cruel’ PIP rule
MSP Beatrice Wishart has given her backing to scrap a rule that prevents disabled people from receiving full mobility assistance if they can walk a distance of 20 metres.
The MS Society Scotland campaign against the so-called ’20 metre rule’ comes as personal independence payments (PIP) are set to be devolved from Westminster to the Scottish government next year.
The SNP have pledged to end PIP when it is transferred over, but campaigners have raised concerns that the 20 metre rule could remain a part of any social security system that takes its place.
Ms Wishart called the rule a “crude and cruel test” this week and said it “must be scrapped”.
“For conditions like MS where there are good days and bad days, claimants shouldn’t be penalised for simply being assessed on a day when a 20m walk was possible.”
Director of MS Scotland Morna Simpkins urged the government to reform the system and abolish the 20 metre rule which she said could “deprive people of vital support”.
“MS can be painful and exhausting, it shouldn’t be made harder by a welfare system that doesn’t make sense.”
First Minister Nicola Sturgeon said that her government was “looking very carefully and very seriously” at the 20 metre rule.