Speaking at Council on a motion calling on the Minister for Communities, Deirdre Hargey, to end Capita’s contract and bring PIP assessments ‘in-house’ within the public sector, the Ballyarnett representative said:
“I’d like to just say from the outset that Capita’s sole purpose is to turn a profit. And that they should have no role or no involvement at all in determining whether someone who is sick or disabled is entitled to PIP or the Troubles Pension.
“The Ombudsman’s investigation into PIP resulted in a report that was highly critical of the Department for Communities and Capita, and exposed systematic maladministration which led to valid claims being unfairly rejected.”
“We just have to look at the actual appeals statistics to see how widespread and problematic this is.
“In 2018, 59% of people who appealed against a PIP decision got a better outcome. In 2019 that percentage increased to 62% and then last year 65% of people who appealed got a better outcome.
“There’s obviously a human cost to this – people have to endure a gruelling appeals process to get the support they deserve.
“And there’s also a financial cost – £10 million was spent over the last three years processing PIP appeals. And a further £4 million spent on Mandatory Reconsiderations. And that’s £14 million of taxpayers’ money that was wasted and squandered on ineptitude.”
Cllr Farrell concluded: “The system is broken and it needs to be fixed. Capita needs to be shown the door and the Department needs to take a long hard look at how it operates.”Tags: