Coalition could keep Labour scrip pledge

Changes to prescription charge exemptions first mooted by Gordon Brown are still being considered, health minister Lord Howe has revealed.

Lord Howe: the government is still looking at options for reforming the current prescription charging arrangements
Lord Howe: the government is still looking at options for reforming the current prescription charging arrangements

The Labour government promised free prescriptions for people with long-term conditions. But in October 2010’s comprehensive spending review, the coalition government reversed the plans.

However, in response to a written parliamentary question from Labour peer Baroness Thornton, Lord Howe said the government was still looking at options for reforming the current prescription charging arrangements, ‘taking into account the financial context’.

‘In particular, we are examining the implications of the introduction of universal credit in relation to those current benefits that entitle the recipient of that benefit to free prescriptions,’ he said.

‘We are also looking at the implications of state pension age changes. We will make announcements about how these changes will be implemented in due course.’

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