Clause 51 — Period of entitlement to contributory allowance

Part of Oral Answers to Questions — Prime Minister – in the House of Commons at 1:45 pm on 1st February 2012.

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Photo of Anne Begg Anne Begg Chair, Work and Pensions Committee 1:45 pm, 1st February 2012

The household might possibly get housing benefit, but that goes on paying the rent. The young man might get disability living allowance, but that is paid because he has extra expenses due to his disability. What he does not have is an income. He has no money to go to the pub for a pint, to buy clothes, or to do anything that the rest of us, disabled or not, take for granted. He has no independent income. It is totally different if someone is out of work and unemployed. I am disappointed that those on the Government Benches cannot see that distinction, and cannot see that those who are long-term ill or disabled, and who have no prospect of improving their financial circumstances themselves because of the level of their disability, are being penalised by the Government. That is partly why I most certainly will support the Lords amendments this afternoon, and I encourage right hon. and hon. Members to do so, too.