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Fairness and Security in Old Age

Part of the debate – in the House of Commons at 12:44 pm on 10th September 2003.

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Photo of Paul Burstow Paul Burstow Shadow Secretary of State for Health 12:44 pm, 10th September 2003

I am afraid that I shall not give way at this point.

The same point applies to those who are relying on a number of different carers. We are still waiting for the Government to spell out the details of their exception scheme. If pensioners feel that the pension book suits their needs, they should be allowed to keep it.

We initiated this debate because those are the issues and concerns that are on our constituents' minds. They are on the minds of those who are lobbying Members of this House today. On the ground, people are seeing care homes closing, and confronting the difficulties of finding a good care home for their loved ones. People are forking out a fortune to pay for what they believed was free health care and struggling to make ends meet while coping with a meagre pension and huge council tax rises. This Government have had six years to start to deal with those issues. As a result of their failure, thousands—indeed, millions—of pensioners in this country still feel insecure and feel that this Government are not giving them a fair deal.