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Possible benefit cuts are slammed

Possible benefit cuts are slammed

Category: Pensions

Updated: 19/08/2010
First Published: 19/08/2010

This article was correct at the time of publication. It is now over 6 months old so the content may be out of date.

The possibility of the Government cutting certain benefits for middle-class pensioners has been slammed.

In recent weeks, there has been mounting talk of plans to cut the winter fuel allowance, television licences and other benefits for certain pensioners, as part of the bid to claw back billions of pounds.

The possibility comes despite a pre-election commitment from David Cameron that the benefits would remain universal.

The now Prime Minister was forced t make the pledge after a campaign by the Labour party that warned pensioners about their benefits being targeted.

During the live debates, Mr Cameron promised that the winter fuel allowance, pension credit, free bus travel and the free television licence would remain for over 75s.

However, amid the coalition Government's austerity drive, there are fears that benefits enjoyed by pensioners could be targeted.

Dr Ros Altmann has said that cutting benefits could be the equivalent of cutting the state pension by over £10 a week, and that making the cuts would mean politicians could not be trusted on pensions.

"This would be an utter disgrace," she said.

The independent policy adviser said that there are currently over 30 different benefits that pensioners can be entitled to.

"Enough is enough," she commented.

"I would urge the Government to simply roll the free benefits into the Basic State Pension and make it payable at a decent level. That would be truly radical pension reform."

"We should roll the freebies into the Basic State Pension instead and move towards a decent, flat-rate pension for all older people."

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