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Disability Benefits for the Elderly

Part of Opposition Day — [1st allotted day] – in the House of Commons at 3:33 pm on 8th December 2009.

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Photo of Andrew Lansley Andrew Lansley Shadow Secretary of State for Health 3:33 pm, 8th December 2009

No, I am answering Steve Webb. I will come to this point and set it out in detail.

Ministers have said in the Green Paper that, within the national care service, they are proposing to withdraw these benefits from existing recipients and to provide what they describe as equivalent support. However, it is entirely unclear what equivalent support means in this context. The hon. Member for Northavon makes exactly the point that I am making. If one is currently in receipt of disability benefits and what one spends the money on includes-the Disability Alliance has conducted research on this-attending hospital or medical appointments, the cost of transport, support with housework and gardening, higher heating and water bills and a whole range of other things, only 24 per cent. of the money is actually spent on care services as such, so the fact that one is having this income taken away and having personal care services provided does not mean receiving equivalent support-it means receiving something different.

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