Last week Judge Patterson at the High Court in London ruled that “delays of at least nine months for Personal Independence Payments (PIPs) for these “most vulnerable” of people were unreasonable.
According to a BBC Report, Minister for Disabled People Justin Tomlinson “was pleased the court had recognised the “huge progress” made by the DWP” and “The average new PIP claimant now waits only seven weeks for an assessment,” Worst of all he said “The court has rightly dismissed the claimants’ absurd suggestion that their human rights had been breached.”
Which part of the word ‘sorry’ does Mr Tomlinson not understand? It took a very expensive court case for two people to get the DWP and Mr Tomlinson to accept that the system of assessment and paying PIP is a shambles. The two claimants should have been through the system without being denied the payments.
Yet Tomlinson gets all strident and bullish that the court had rightly dismissed the claimants “absurd suggestion” as regards their Human Rights.
Patrick Butler at the Guardian writes :
“Was there even a whisper of contrition for this calamity in the wake of the ruling? A sheepish raising of the corporate DWP hand to say “we messed up”? Nope. Nothing. Instead, the disability minister, Justin Tomlinson triumphantly pointed out that the government did not have to pay damages to the two claimants who took it to court (not mentioning the government had to pay all the legal costs), as if it had somehow “won” the case.
The sequence is: strategic arrogance, practical failure and crisis management, then political denial. How very Soviet
Politicians never like admitting they are wrong. But the DWP, which has form in this regard, last week raised the bar in terms of institutional gracelessness. It is difficult to think of any other public organisation that feels so empowered to treat its “customers” with such contempt, or its critics with such disdain.”
Tomlinson’s lack of contrition and inability to say sorry, certainly seems to be that of a Government Apparatchik, a cog in the Government machine, of some authoritarian style Government, who have ideology and face to protect when their policy is shown to be wrong and hurting people.
Remember though, this is a Government that does not like Judges who come down on the side of the oppressed.