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Disabled pensioners hit by benefits cut

Local Tory Parliamentary Candidate, Gordon Henderson, has expressed concern about Labour plans to scrap disability benefits for the elderly in Swale. The small print of Labour’s plans to create a National Care Service reveals they will scrap Attendance Allowance and Disability Living Allowance for pensioners to pay for it.

An average £3,400 a year will be snatched away from 2.4 million British pensioners – equivalent to a quarter of the average pensioner’s income. In Sittingbourne & Sheppey, this would affect over 3,000 pensioners – 2120 who receive Attendance Allowance, worth an average of £60 a week, and 1110 who receive Disability Living Allowance, worth an average of £75 a week.

Mr Henderson explained:

“Attendance Allowance and Disability Living Allowance are based on need; they are not means tested and are intended to cover the extra costs arising from the impact the disability has on the life of the disabled person.

“The key feature of these benefits is that they can be spent by disabled people how they wish, without restrictions, to best support their individual care needs.

“By introducing this measure the Government has chosen to penalise one of the most vulnerable groups in our society for the sake of another of Gordon Brown’s eye-catching announcements.

“As with every Labour initiative, someone has to pay and, as with many of them, it is those who are least able to afford it who will be hit worst. These benefits provide vital support for disabled pensioners, giving them the chance to lead an independent life with the freedom to tailor their care to their needs.

“Of course, we need to do more to help people with their care costs, but it is completely wrong to do so at the expense of disabled pensioners. Local Conservatives will protect Swale pensioners and fight against these plans to scrap benefits for the disabled.”

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