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 Mrs Helen Liddell Mrs Helen Liddell Secretary of State, Scottish Office, The Secretary of State for Scotland 12:00 am, 30th January 2001

My hon. Friend makes an important point. The whole issue of fuel poverty has been at the forefront of the Government's thinking. A fuel poverty taskforce, working across Government and with the devolved Administrations, has come up with real proposals to deal with the problem. It is estimated that some 35,000 deaths in the United Kingdom are caused by diseases related to cold, which is why what the official Opposition propose is such an unpleasant prospect. They intend to get rid of a winter fuel payment that puts £200 into the pockets of pensioners—the people who need it most.