The perils of means testing pensioner benefits such as bus passes, winter fuel allowance & free TV Licences

The downside of means testing - beaurocracy gone mad
David Cameron today signalled that he will protect benefits for Britain’s wealthiest pensioners.

The Prime Minister insisted there were not big savings to be made from cutting winter fuel payments, TV licences and bus passes for the well-off.

It raises the prospect of the Tories being the only major party going into the election vowing to preserve the payments for all over-65s, while cutting welfare for people of working age.

“I’ve always said that there aren’t huge savings to be made from axing these benefits and I think pensioners welcome the clarity that there has been.”

Our comment:If he says so we suppose it must be true ?

The Lib Dems blocked any further welfare reform I the current coalition unless Mr Cameron agreed to axe the £2billion in benefits to the better off, including the winter fuel allowance, free bus passes and free TV licences.

Labour has said it will stop winter fuel payments to 600,000 pensioners on higher and top-rate tax.

The Institute for Fiscal Studies has warned taxpayers will have to find another £12billion by the end of the decade to pay for benefits for pensioners.

Shadow chancellor Ed Balls said today: ‘We have said we will have some difficult decisions to get the deficit down.

‘We would reverse the top rate income tax rate cuts which the Tories delivered for people earning over £150,000, but we’ve also said that we would have to take the winter allowance from the richest pensioners, pensioners with pensions over £42,000-a-year.

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