14th January 2019
Dear Secretary of State,
Re: Universal Credit Managed Migration
Following recent comments in the House of Lords, we write to clarify and emphasise the view of the Disability Benefits Consortium (DBC) (which represents over 80 disability organisations) as regards the managed migration process.
The “70 stakeholders” referred to by Baroness Buscombe in the debate on 8 January (Lords Hansard, cols. 2123-4) include a number of DBC members. We are therefore concerned that Baroness Buscombe’s comment – “Why do 70 different stakeholders want to work with us if they condemn what we are trying to achieve?” – seems to imply that these stakeholders support the “stop-start” approach that currently characterises the managed migration proposals. This is not the case and we are disappointed at this suggestion.
The view taken by the DBC and its members has clearly and consistently been that:
a.) we believe there should be an orderly transition whereby existing legacy benefit claims are converted to UC claims through a review process (we do not accept that this is not possible); and
b.) failing this, we will nevertheless work with the DWP to try to minimise the problems of stop-start and maximise the number of claimants able to transfer without mishap.
Clearly, this willingness to engage does not imply that we support stop-start. We do not, and shall continue to press for an orderly, review-based approach. Meanwhile, we hope to get as near to this as possible in ongoing discussions with the Department.
I hope this serves to clarify our approach. We are making this letter public, so as to help dispel any misapprehension regarding the DBC’s position on these matters.
Signed by co-Chairs of the Disability Benefits Consortium:
Anastacia Berry – MS Society
Beatrice Barleon – Royal Mencap Society
Geoff Fimister – Thomas Pocklington Trust
Hannah West – Motor Neurone Disease Association
Katie Lee-Hall– MS Society
Rob Holland – Royal Mencap Society
cc Baroness Buscombe