Why Did Justin Tomlinson MP Claim Not To Know How Many Disabled People Have Lost Their Motability Cars Under PIP?
On 3rd February 2016, BBC News reported that nearly 14,000 disabled people have lost their Motability cars as a result of being transferred from DLA to PIP.
On 25th February 2016, in Parliament, Justin Tomlinson MP, Minister For Disabled People, was asked by Daniel Zeichner MP, Shadow Minister For Transport, to reveal how many disabled people had had their Motability cars taken away as a result of PIP replacing DLA.
In response, Justin Tomlinson MP claimed, in Parliament:
The Department does not hold this information.
The BBC News story of 3rd February was shown on BBC television news on that day, as well as being available on the BBC website. The online link to the story spread like wildfire across several social media pages respected by Same Difference in the first week of February.
Same Difference still remembers it well, and we are, sadly, a much smaller organisation than the DWP.
It is completely unbelievable that no one within the DWP was following BBC News over the time the story broke.
Respected disability campaigner Mike Sivier says on his respected website, Vox Political, that he believes Mr Tomlinson did know the figure of nearly 14,000 claimants, but that he misled Parliament about this simply because he wanted to save himself, and the DWP, political embarrassment because the figure was so high.
This explanation is far more believable. Same Difference shares the opinion of Vox Political on this matter.
Misleading Parliament is a very serious matter, particularly for a Government Minister. Same Difference joins Vox Political in calling for MPs to hold Mr Tomlinson to account for this.
We also join Vox Political in calling for a Parliamentary debate on the loss of Motability cars as a result of DLA being replaced by PIP. Motability cars provide independence for many disabled people who need cars because their disabilities leave them unable to use public transport.
The numbers of people losing their Motability cars along with their DLA are, simply, far too high. Parliament needs to note the figures and step in to help thousands of disabled people find a solution to this problem as soon as possible.