Disability Benefits for the Elderly

Part of Opposition Day — [1st allotted day] – in the House of Commons at 4:06 pm on 8th December 2009.

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Photo of Andy Burnham Andy Burnham The Secretary of State for Health 4:06 pm, 8th December 2009

I beg to move an amendment to leave out from 'House' to the end of the Question and add:

"welcomes the Government's proposals to create the National Care Service, the first national, universal, entitlement-based system for care and support in England;
notes that the proposals will deliver real benefits to people including wider provision of prevention services, a single needs assessment across England and information, guidance and advice for all;
recognises that in 20 years' time, 1.5 million more people will have care and support needs, whilst the number of people aged over 85 will have doubled;
further notes that around 400,000 people will benefit from enactment of the Personal Care at Home Bill, which contains no proposed changes to disability benefits;
acknowledges that the Government is considering responses to the Big Care Debate consultation before any decisions are made between a range of options for the National Care Service;
understands that changes to disability living allowance for under-65s as part of the introduction of a National Care Service have been ruled out;
and welcomes the reassurance that, if disability benefits for older people were to be reformed as part of the National Care Service, those receiving the affected benefits at the time of reform would continue to receive an equivalent level of support."

Let me begin by saying that I welcome the debate, which deals with a subject that matters greatly to many people in this country. Mr. Lansley and the shadow Secretary of State for Work and Pensions should be thanked for securing the debate, but I cannot stand the simplistic, petty and partisan manner in which the hon. Gentleman introduced it. So far, the approach has been nothing more or less than crude electioneering. The nasty party-the shadow Work and Pensions Secretary knows all about that-is back in all its glory, and it is showing its unpleasant side in the Chamber this afternoon. The debate deserves a higher standard of comment than that which the hon. Gentleman has given today.

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