Winter Fuel Payment

Part of Oral Answers to Questions — Scotland – in the House of Commons at 12:00 am on 30th January 2001.

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Photo of Alex Salmond Alex Salmond Scottish National Party, Banff and Buchan 12:00 am, 30th January 2001

I too welcome the Secretary of State to her post. May I ask her how the issue of fuel payments relates to the welcome announcement of free personal care? Although extracted at the point of a parliamentary gun, and humiliating for the Secretary of State, it was welcome none the less.

Was the Secretary of State kept in the dark about the announcement yesterday, as suggested by that fine newspaper the Daily Record this morning? If not, can she explain why she said on yesterday's "Today" programme that the Scottish Executive were still considering the matter and would report back—just a few minutes before the First Minister's announcement?