I AM totally opposed to Gordon Brown's new plans to scrap disability benefits for the elderly.
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 2.4million pensioners - equivalent to a quarter of the average pensioner's income. In Harrow, this would affect about 6,500 pensioners - 5,000 who receive Attendance Allowance, worth an average of £60 a week, and 1,500 who receive Disability Living Allowance, worth an average of £75 a week.
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.
Gordon Brown has chosen to penalise one of the most vulnerable groups in our society for the sake of another of his eye-catching announcements.
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.
Conservatives will protect Harrow's pensioners and fight against Gordon Brown's plan to scrap benefits for the disabled.
DR RACHEL JOYCE
Conservative parliamentary candidate