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Disability Benefits for the Elderly

Part of Opposition Day — [1st allotted day] – in the House of Commons at 6:31 pm on 8th December 2009.

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Photo of Mark Harper Mark Harper Shadow Minister (Work and Pensions) 6:31 pm, 8th December 2009

The hon. Gentleman's intervention is inaccurate. He knows that, outside the House, every single organisation representing disabled people has opposed taking away these national disability benefits. He said that himself. These concerns were not got up by the Opposition. My hon. Friend the Member for South Cambridgeshire quoted the Disability Alliance's survey, which had asked its members whether attendance allowance and other benefits should be taken away, and found that 93 per cent. said no. RADAR, a pan-disability organisation, said:

"RADAR is adamant no one is getting their mitts on vital extra-cost benefits. These benefits are to help meet a wide range of extra costs, not just care, but extra heating, laundry and so on. Take them away and people would lose choice, control and independence and more people would fall into poverty."

There is an almost infinite list of quotes such as that, but I will read out just one more. Leonard Cheshire Disability says that its policy on this issue is that

"we have always opposed any move to take DLA care component and AA into broader social care funding and will continue to do so."

Those concerns are shared not only by Members on both sides of the House but by all those organisations, so to pretend that they have somehow been got up by the Opposition as part of a scaremongering campaign-

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