Pensioners and Winter Fuel Payments

Part of Opposition Day — [12th Allotted Day – Second Part (Half Day)] – in the House of Commons at 4:38 pm on 22nd November 2011.

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Photo of Sylvia Hermon Sylvia Hermon Independent, North Down 4:38 pm, 22nd November 2011

Before the right hon. Gentleman leaves the subject of Northern Ireland, will he reflect on the fact that, for the first time, a commissioner for older people—and a very good one in Claire Keatinge, who was formerly the director of the Alzheimer’s Society—has been appointed? Does he see a role for the commissioner on the issue of winter fuel payments? How could she influence the Government to do the right thing? We hear a lot of criticism of human rights in the House, but there is a guarantee that no one in the UK should experience degrading treatment. For older people, the Government’s policy seems like degrading treatment. Does the right hon. Gentleman agree?