If you had met the team of people supporting Julian Huppert’s campaign in Cambridge for a seat in parliament, as I did, you would possibly have the same impression of him that I do. Only a muppet would have entrusted his campaign to those pillocks; however, notwithstanding this handicap, he did manage to get himself elected, for which I congratulate him. No need to be churlish.
Now he has tabled an early day motion claiming that research shows that ‘regardless of their situation’ the public wish to see more money going to disabled people in the form of winter fuel payments.
The Papworth Trust polled 1,000 people across Britain, and found that ‘disabled people’ were three times more likely to stay at home during the daytime in the winter than non-disabled people’.
Blimey! So if you have a perfectly legitimate reason not to be at work during the day, then you are three times more likely to be at home during working hours. That is truly incredible!
Not only that, but if you are one of those people who are not already receiving winter fuel allowance because they are over 60 themselves, or have someone living in their house who is over 60, and you are not so severely disabled that you are receiving the fairly generous DLA allowance, there are times – so you told researchers – that you can’t always afford to put on the heating.
Blimey again! So if you are not that disabled, and not that old, and still not at work during the day, then you are just like the rest of us and have to think twice before putting on the heating. Incredible!
The problem with Julian’s solution of giving the winter fuel allowance to all those ‘severely disabled’ is that noble as it may sound, those in receipt of disability living allowance are not means tested. They may well have received hundreds of thousands of pounds, if not millions, in compensation for an accident, it makes no difference to the DLA payments. They may well live abroad, the DLA payment is not dependant on your staying in the British Isles. It carries on paying out even when past pension age – for as long as you wish to claim it.
Rather than identify those few claimants that might fall into the “under 65, not that disabled, haven’t had compensation, still living in the UK, and need additional help with their heating” – Julian wants to hand out an annual bonus to every person claiming DLA on the back of an emotive poll by an interested party.
This is the sort of nonsense we got used to with the Labour MPs, victim poker and redistribution politics.