Caring for the Elderly

Part of Opposition Day — [16th Allotted Day] – in the House of Commons at 4:49 pm on 15th July 2009.

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Photo of Angela Eagle Angela Eagle The Minister of State, Department for Work and Pensions, Member, Labour Party National Executive Committee 4:49 pm, 15th July 2009

I pay tribute to my hon. Friend's tenacity in attempting to get some sort of sense out of Opposition Front Benchers. My hon. Friend the Member for North-West Leicestershire quoted one of his attempts, which was rebuffed, to get the hon. Member for Eastbourne to come clean about his party's intentions last year.

Recently, David Davis referred to winter fuel payments as "a gimmick". The Tory think-tank Reform suggested scrapping the payments altogether, along with free TV licences. That attitude goes to the very top. In May, Mr. Cameron refused to rule out scrapping winter fuel payments. As my hon. Friends have just pointed out, the hon. Member for Eastbourne has refused to commit the Conservative party to retaining them. I note that he is not leaping to the Dispatch Box to put us right about that.