Universal benefits for pensioners, including free bus passes and television licences, should be means-tested, Nick Clegg has said.
The Deputy Prime Minister said that better-off elderly people should make a “sacrifice” to help the Government balance its books.
The Treasury last week announced plans for two more years of austerity from 2015, amounting to £30 billion in additional cuts.
Ministers have not yet agreed on how the cuts will be implemented, but a new Spending Review is expected before the next election in 2015.
Mr Clegg, the Liberal Democrat leader, said that he believed the Government should cut back on the benefits currently given to all pensioners regardless of their wealth.
“We should be asking millionaire pensioners to perhaps make a little sacrifice on their free TV licence or their free bus passes,” Mr Clegg told the BBC.
Our comment: we have also heard suggestions that benefits such as Winter Fuel Allowance should be taxed, just as State Pensions are, but this would arouse a howl of protest, as it would hit every pensioner taxpayer, including those with modest incomes.