Politics: Harman U-turn on benefit cuts

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The Independent Online
Harriet Harman last night announced a U-turn to head off a threatened revolt over disability living allowance.

Claimants are to be given a second opinion if they are threatened with losing the allowance after checks about their needs.

"It is important that decisions about benefit are made fairly and are seen to be fair," she said. "In future, no decision resulting in reduction or removal of entitlement to DLA will be made solely on the evidence provided by the claimant - there will always be additional evidence to support the decision."

The Secretary of State for Social Security told Labour supporters at a welfare reform roadshow that the social security reforms would go ahead, in spite of criticism from Labour MPs lone parents and disabled groups.

She faced criticism at the meeting in Middlesbrough, including one disabled woman who said she had been frightened by Peter Lilley, but was more frightened by what Labour was planning.

- Colin Brown