Joan Bakewell, the last Labour government's spokesperson for the elderly told ITV News, "I think it's very important to start debate on this."
"However, Paul Burstow has set the bar very low, and I think to suggest that everybody except those who are on pension credits is spreading the net far too wide. A lot of older people need that money."
We can’t ignore that millions of people, including many people with dementia, are being denied access to essential care because of the colossal hole in the adult social care funding pot.
Discussing how we cut the cake in terms of where money is spent, including benefits for older people, is therefore vital.
However, these discussions should not be held in isolation. The only way to achieve a long term sustainable solution is for all the political parties to agree on a complete and achievable package of funding. People’s lives depend on it.'
The winter fuel payment is an anomaly in our welfare system.
By earmarking this money for something else we stop those funds disappearing into the Treasury coffers and divert them into the pockets of older people in desperate need of care.
If we are serious about sorting out the biggest unaddressed social issue of our time, the money has to come from somewhere. This is the fairest way to get "something for something" instead of something for nothing. After all, I'm making these proposals because I want end the care lottery that sees people lose their assets, their homes and their dignity.