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Severe Weather (Vulnerable People)

Volume 521: debated on Monday 10 January 2011

23. What assistance his Department has provided to vulnerable people during the recent period of severe weather. (32665)

I am grateful to the Minister for his answer. Can he confirm that, contrary to various scare stories that we have heard in recent weeks, cold weather payments will continue into the future?

As my hon. Friend suggests, there are two systems of support during the winter months: the winter fuel payment, which the Chancellor has confirmed will continue on exactly the basis budgeted for by the previous Government; and the cold weather payments, which will not continue on the basis budgeted for by the previous Government because they were going to cut them by two thirds and we are going to keep them at £25 a week.

The Minister went some way towards answering my question about what is going to happen to the winter fuel payment, but can he categorically confirm that we will not see any changes to it in the next economic year?

To reiterate, the Chancellor of the Exchequer made it quite clear in his comprehensive spending review statement that we will be sticking to the budgeted plans for winter fuel payments for future winters.