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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 am sorry, but "equivalent level of support" is pretty plain-it means no cash losers. It is an equivalent level of support: that could not be clearer. I have said very clearly that people will keep the cash and keep the control. We have said that all along, but the hon. Gentleman has been choosing not to listen because it did not suit the grubby campaign that he has been mounting for the past couple of weeks. We have made this absolutely clear. He may not like it, because it does not suit his purposes, but it could not be clearer.

As I said, the three principles in the benefits system will all be important features of a new care and support system. [ Interruption. ] If the hon. Member for South Cambridgeshire will stop chuntering, let me say that cash payments will be at the heart of a new system. The care services Minister, my hon. Friend the Member for Corby, and I have been saying that every day since we launched the Green Paper. That is what

"an equivalent level of support" means. The hon. Gentleman has chosen not to listen to that because it was inconvenient- [Interruption.]

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