Oral Answers to Questions — Means-testing

Part of the debate – in the House of Commons at 12:00 am on 2 April 2001.

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Photo of Alistair Darling Alistair Darling Secretary of State for Social Security 12:00, 2 April 2001

No, I do not. People who retire on occupational pension incomes of more than £85 a week should make a contribution towards their incomes if they have to retire early. The hon. Gentleman described the measures that I outlined to help pensioners as window dressing. That speaks volumes for the Conservative party's attitude. Does he believe that the minimum income guarantee, which gives £15 more a week to nearly 2 million pensioners, is window dressing? The winter fuel payment of £200 is paid to every pensioner household. Is that window dressing? People can see the shape of things to come. If the Conservatives were ever re-elected, they would get rid of the minimum income guarantee, the winter fuel payment and many other measures that benefit millions of pensioner households.