LibDems say millionaire pensioners should see benefits cut

Nick Clegg WEF Speaking 480

The Liberal Democrats are considering curbing age-related universal benefits for pensioners with assets of more than £1m.

The BBC reports Liberal Democrat leader and deputy prime minister Nick Clegg (pictured) said the welfare budget “cannot remain immune” from Government cuts after the general election in 2015.

The propoals would affect benefits such as winter fuel allowances, free TV licences and bus passes, and would come in after the 2015/16 spending round.

Clegg told BBC Radio 4’s the World at One yesterday: “I think there are many millionaires in this country… will also say voluntarily that maybe they should give up some of these universal entitlements to help people who are less lucky than them to make ends meet.”

He said it was “very difficult to explain… at a time when people’s housing benefit is being cut that you should protect Alan Sugar’s free bus pass”.

The Conservatives have said they will retain age-related universal benefits for the lifetime of the Parliament.

The £1m threshold could be based on the value of an individual’s home, income, or size of their pension pot.

Treasury Secretary Danny Alexander said welfare “cannot be the only place we look” for cost savings, but said “difficult choices must be fairly shared; those that who can afford more must contribute more”.