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Tories to stand by elderly - Truss

PUBLISHED: 09:16 27 January 2010 | UPDATED: 21:53 07 July 2010

IN last week's newspaper we carried an article about South West Norfolk prospective parliamentary candidate Elizabeth Truss and her response to a report suggesting some benefits should be reduced for the more well off.

IN last week's newspaper we carried an article about South West Norfolk prospective parliamentary candidate Elizabeth Truss and her response to a report suggesting some benefits should be reduced for the more well off.

Unfortunately, the article said Ms Truss supported the report. Ms Truss clearly said Conservatives would retain the Winter Fuel Payment were they to be elected in a General Election.

Here she makes clear her thoughts on older people and the cold weather:

Conservatives pledge to stand up for older people

In the recent cold weather many older people struggled to heat homes and get to the shops, particularly in remote villages. This was made worse by inflexible central planning that didn't take rural communities into account. The Conservatives would protect the most vulnerable by maintaining the Winter Fuel Allowance and linking the State Pension to earnings whilst giving people and communities power over their own lives.

Village services are a lifeline to many older people but excessive regulation on voluntary groups and businesses have forced many to close. The Government only applies discounted social tariffs to gas bills, doing nothing for the 50pc of South West Norfolk households who rely on heating oil. A Conservative government would give flexibility to suit all kinds of communities. We would enable people to use a Post Office Card Account to make payments on utility bills. This is a win-win - bringing more business to local post offices and saving people up to £100 on their fuel bills.

As well as protecting the most vulnerable - we should open up more opportunities to those who are active and would like to work. Red tape and bureaucratic Criminal Justice checks means that it is harder to get into voluntary or casual work.

Advances in medical technology and lifestyles means that today's generation of 60-somethings (and older) are in far better shape than ever before. With growing opportunities in the community to use knowledge, wisdom and experience, this should be a golden age for older people.

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