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 am pressing to a conclusion now. I am sure that the hon. Gentleman will want to catch Mr Speaker’s eye in order to speak, as other Members will want to.

The winter fuel payment should be restored to the amount that was paid over the past three years. Indeed, I would go further and say that future payments should be indexed to reflect rising energy prices. After all, when the winter fuel payment was initially introduced, it paid over half the cost of an older person’s fuel bill, whereas the current level is nowhere near high enough to meet those bills. Our attitude to this issue goes a long way towards illustrating our attitude to the treatment of our older people throughout the country. I hope that the whole House will join me and my right hon. and hon. Friends in supporting the motion this evening, and I commend it to the House.