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 Nigel Dodds Nigel Dodds Shadow Spokesperson (Justice), Shadow Spokesperson (Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs), DUP Westminster Leader 4:38 pm, 22nd November 2011

I have not heard it said that the level of the payments made over the last three years was unsustainable. I have never heard anybody make that argument.

Let us be fair: the Government have made choices. They have decided, because of the economic situation and the deficit, to cut expenditure in certain areas. In other areas, they have decided to maintain or increase spending. That is the choice of the Government and the majority of the Members of this House; but do not let anyone pretend that the Government had no choice about winter fuel payments or that they had to do what they did. They did not have to do it: they chose to pick this area for cuts and not others. That is a reprehensible choice—a choice that is not justified either economically or morally. At a time of so many excess winter deaths among our older population, it is appalling that cuts should be aimed at that sector of our population.