The consultation on plans to replace personal independence payment (PIP) with vouchers or a catalogue ends on 22 July, with Labour so far showing no signs of disowning the proposals.  Benefits and Work is urging readers to have their say before it is too late.

As most readers will be aware, the Conservatives published a Green Paper on the future of PIP in April 2024.  Amongst the proposals were suggestions that instead of regular cash payments, PIP could be replaced with:

  • A catalogue/shop scheme
  • A voucher scheme
  • A receipt based system
  • One-off grants

Labour failed to condemn these proposals in the run-up to the general election and have continued to remain silent since gaining power, even though there is now no risk of them losing votes by speaking out.

According to the Mirror:

“Labour insiders have hinted they'll review the public's response to these proposals after the consultation wraps up on July 22, which falls three weeks post-election.”

Labour have also said nothing about planned changes to the work capability assessment (WCA) from 2025, that would lead to an estimated 424,000 claimants losing over £400 a month.

Ten leading charities, including:

  • Child Poverty Action Group
  • Disability Rights UK
  • Joseph Rowntree Foundation
  • Mind
  • Save the Children

have written to Liz Kendall, secretary of state for work and pensions.  They have asked her to halt the proposed changes to the WCA and to PIP and replace them with plans that are “redesigned with disabled people at the centre.”

So far, there has been no response.

You can find out more about the changes to PIP and how to take part in the consultation here.

UPDATE 11 July

Liz Kendall made a speech in Leeds today in which she said that rising levels of economic inactivity are unacceptable and that immediate action must be taken.  She highlighted the fact that a record 2.8 million people are out of work due to long-term sickness. 

Kendall said that the government would: ".... create more good jobs, make work pay, transform skills, and overhaul jobcentres, alongside action to tackle the root causes of worklessness including poor physical and mental health."

Kendall made no reference to PIP or work capability assessment changes and did not address the issue of the speeded-up timetable for forced migration to universal credit.

More details here.

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  • Thank you for your comment. Comments are moderated before being published.
    Stormzy · 19 hours ago
    The thought of changing pip into vouchers is disgusting if anything claimants should be able to choose which they want and your putting people Into problems as they rely on that money and people that use it for a Gardner like we do they are not going to take a voucher so leave it how it is and let people choose
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    Mark · 20 hours ago
    How is a receipt based system going to work when you don't have the money to buy anything to start with????
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    AMJ · 20 hours ago
    Pip should remain as cash as life is hard enough as it is for the disabled. 
    Why should things change for the disabled. 
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    Sue · 21 hours ago
    I think this is absolutely a disgrace.Surely it's not cost effective printing etc, of all these vouchers, and making more of a footprint.  It would make sense to leave it computerised 
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    EMTM · 21 hours ago
    This new scheme is a terrible idea and would not work for everyone.  I have mental health problems for most of my life and depend on my mother and a family member to help me.  I need money not vouchers to give them for my needs because I’m unable to go out and get things for myself.  I hope the Labour government will reconsider this daft idea and show some compassion on those of us who are not well in one way or another.
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    Jayne · 22 hours ago
    It’s a disgusting scheme, treating a section of society as second class.
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    Elaine · 22 hours ago
    Ridiculous idea it's not going to work, disabled are given mostly all the things that these vouchers offer as in equipment care etc what they need is to pay their extortionate bills to be able to live. It will cause mental breakdowns and increase homelessness. They need to be treated with dignity and respect and be able to live their lives to the best they can with what life has thrown at them. 
    Do NOT do this it's discrimination of the worst level.
  • Thank you for your comment. Comments are moderated before being published.
    Melissa rollings · 22 hours ago
    No I think it’s wrong why should the labour cut benefits it seems like he’s more for the rich and take off poor family’s I think it’s disgusting I get pip and I don’t want to loose the money why should we suffer 
  • Thank you for your comment. Comments are moderated before being published.
    Dawn · 23 hours ago
    NO to vouchers! It's embarrassing enough for some of us who are disabled as it is! How are you supposed to pay bills, fuel for vehicles ect, ect! 
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    Angelika · 1 days ago
    We shouldn't ever think they are consigned to history they will continue to point hatred at benefit claimants from the opposition benchs waiting as they do to seize power by any means Coalition governments any one. All of us who rely on benefits to survive should never forget the threat that the Tory party is to us all.
    I hope that the Newly elected Labour party who remain worryingly silent on Benefits do not forget that a great many disabled peoples votes got them elected and do not continue with the Tory policy of blaming benefit claimants for dragging the countries economy down just to pander to right wing papers and media.
    I hope they have finally realised that the support of disabled people is a good policy. The money benefits pay isn't stashed away like millionaires profit are. It is spent on our bills and needs which only helps the economy by creating financial flow.
    We will have to wait,hope and see that the labour party has finally learnt that looking after the ordinary people is what will keep them in power to hopefully build a fair society that works for all not just tax dodging big business and millionaires like our departed but not missed last pm Rishi.

  • Thank you for your comment. Comments are moderated before being published.
    Caz Cambridge · 1 days ago
    I agree with lots of the comments, i.e. a voucher system simply would not work.  Local Councils are already stretched to breaking point, therefore having to manage disabled people's voucher system would be another burden on them.  There would be some Councils operating the system well and others abysmally, which would impact on disabled people's lives.  The DWP should be operating the benefits system to create a fair system across the country.

    PIP cash payments are my preferred choice.  ESA CB is only £138 per week, far less than the State Pension and women now have to work an extra 7 years and men 2 years to receive the State Pension.  Surely the Government (Tories) saw it coming that more 60 year olds would be eligible for PIP before retirement.  

    I use my PIP payments to top up my stingy ESA payment to live on, pay for heating, petrol etc.  Running a car is not a luxury but a necessity for disabled people.

    Hopefully this new idea will be kicked into the long grass sooner rather than later by the new Government.  


  • Thank you for your comment. Comments are moderated before being published.
    A Radusin · 1 days ago
    No to vouchers. 
  • Thank you for your comment. Comments are moderated before being published.
    Linda · 1 days ago
    People who are disabled and unable to work need cash not vouchers to be able to afford a reasonable standard of living. Changing to vouchers would be devastating to so many people
  • Thank you for your comment. Comments are moderated before being published.
    Mr way · 1 days ago
    A devastating  idea is this austerity 
  • Thank you for your comment. Comments are moderated before being published.
    Mr Brooke · 1 days ago
    Are these messages on.....

    NO TO VOUCHERS, TREAT PEOPLE LIKE PEOPLE NOT OBJECTS 
    LEAVE DISABLED PEOPLE ALONE AND KEEP THEM ON CASH PAYMENTS 

    ....actually going to be viewed by the government? 

    Also someone suggested like cutting the pip amount down a little bit and not adding inflation on for a while sounds like a better idea than replacing cash with vouchers 
  • Thank you for your comment. Comments are moderated before being published.
    lesley · 1 days ago
    Phew!  Just finished filling out and sent off the form.  Thanks B&W for encouraging us. I have dyslexia and with your help I managed to download the form on Word Pad that you had provided.  I read all your comments and changed a lot of the wording and added my own comments.  Got into the swing of it after a while and rather enjoyed putting my own comments too.  I was rather surprised how emotional and creative I became once I started. Then I cut and paste all my responses from the word pad copy onto the proper consultation and just sent it off. Thanks again all of you at B&W for helping us.
  • Thank you for your comment. Comments are moderated before being published.
    Ange · 1 days ago
    For someone who is living with MS I have had all the adaptions needed , vouchers for me would be no help at all . I need cash to pay my cleaner and other people who help me also to put fuel in the car which has also been adapted to be able to attend my numerous hospital appointments.  I'm so worried about this I'm not sleeping or eating properly, I'm feeling  suicidal thinking about what I'll do if they stop my payments. 
    • Thank you for your comment. Comments are moderated before being published.
      Topiawitch · 22 hours ago
      @Ange hi Ange, your not alone there and your certainly not alone here. i know exactly what you are feeling im the same as you, already got everything as my housing association install all that is needed, so yes vouchers wont be of any use. the main reason i have put my words here is because of your final sentence. please if you feel that way , get help from somewhere, drs, friends etc people will be there for you ,people will listen. there are many many genuine disabled people out there that must be worrying about this voucher thing. it feels like the government dont care about the disabled , we are human just the same as them , id like to see them living or trying to live on what we live on. please ange keep your chin up x
    • Thank you for your comment. Comments are moderated before being published.
      Corrinne · 1 days ago
      @Ange I understand where you are coming from I have to pay over hundred pound a month just on incontinence products because my Gp won’t put it on prescription I pay so much out to function and vouchers will not help me at all this is having a really bad effect on my mental health too I already feel like a burden on society and all these proposals have done is make me feel like they have comforted my fears 
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    GJ23 · 1 days ago
    Just completed it. I'm still fuming as the craziness of the questions. The concept that a local Authority could be of any use is madness ours can't manage to clean the streets and empty bins regularly, the extra 'burden' of supporting disabled people which is how it felt that every question was worded hidden or otherwise when the are bankrupt is beyond belief. So we would all go from 'independance' which is what PIP provides to having to save up vouchers like children collecting cards and go cap in hand to some shop hoping that no one steals our voucher on route and that the shop is open when we need some more bandages or medication etc etc. Ok rant over.
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    Ð Barnett · 1 days ago
    I have parkinsons, scoliosis, osteoporosis in back and hips. I also suffer with anxiety. PIP and ESA are my only income. I'm unable to work, who would employ a 62 year old with chronic progressive illness. I'm worried sick these proposals will go ahead. 
  • Thank you for your comment. Comments are moderated before being published.
    Linda zbrumpton · 1 days ago
    The plans to change Pip from a money paced benefit to vouchers or some other similar scheme is dreadful. As always the government a picking on the weakest and poorest people in our society. These people are worried sick and frightened that what they can buy with money and the right to do is being re.oved from them and think they may be made even poorer and humiliated by this action.  These are people/voters you are attacking and if you bring in this scheme you should be ashamed of yourselves. One day you may need this benefit and perhaps you should think how you would feel getting vouchers, using catalogues  instead of going to any shop with cash.  Please don't  do this it's so unfair hitting people who are already down.
     

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