Would a future government dare extend the hated bedroom tax to pensioners ?

Amid growing debate about intergenerational fairness, research shows some pensioners receive housing benefit for six empty bedrooms

Retired people are living in multiple-bedroom council houses in central London, according to research that shows how hundreds of millions of pounds would be cut from the welfare budget if the so-called bedroom tax were ever applied to pensioners.

Local authorities could save £400million a year if pensioners’ housing benefits were cut to reflect the fact they have spare bedrooms, under a controversial reform applied to working-age families.

The next government must make cuts to welfare worth £12 billion in order to eliminate the public deficit, George Osborne has argued.

However, David Cameron has pledged to protect universal pensioner benefits including bus passes, prescriptions, free eye tests and free TV licences so that they can have “dignity and security in retirement”.

Today Ed Miliband will seek to woo young voters by declaring they have lost a “generational war” as the Tories seek to capture a “grey vote” that has been protected from cuts.

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