If you have had anything to do with Papworth Trust over the last few weeks, you will know that we are passionate about severely disabled people getting the Winter Fuel Allowance. From talking to disabled people, I know that they are twice as likely to go without heating or food in the winter months as non-disabled people. I also know that they are three times as worried as non-disabled people about the upcoming winter months and almost four times as likely to be stuck at home during the day as non-disabled people. Yet the government won't back our plans to get the Winter Fuel Allowance paid to severely disabled people.
Why? Well of course, it's the cuts. Well, not really; we've worked out if they moved the age that everyone else gets the payment from 60 to 65, then there would be enough money, and some left over, to make the benefit available to severely disabled people.
I've just finished talking about it on the radio, The Independent on Sunday wrote about it at the weekend and over 40 MPs back our plans. Colleagues of mine will also be talking about it at the Conservative conference in a week or two. So we are beginning to get the message across.
It's sunny outside as I am writing this, and I have just had my lunch. But the cold and snow and ice will be here soon and some of the people who we work with will be very cold and will be debating whether to have lunch or have an extra hours heating. That's not fair and we have to change it. I hope that we can. If you have supported us on this already - Thank you! If you want to get involved, have a look at our website and see how you can help.
I am all for choice - but not the choice of being warm or being fed - that's just wrong.
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