Nick’ Position On Welfare For Rich Pensioners Is Confused And Needs Clarifying

This article was first posted on the Liberal Democrat Voice website

Poverty-Lane

In its first annual report, the Social Mobility and Child Poverty Commission has proposed cuts in welfare for well-off pensioners, including currently universal benefits such as the winter fuel allowance, free bus pass and free TV license, proposing the money should be used to help children in poor families.

Proposing a fundamental shift in welfare support from pensioners to the young the report says:

We do not believe that favouring pensioners over their children and grandchildren will be a sustainable position over the long term if a meaningful dent is to be made in the UK’s high levels of child poverty and low levels of social mobility.

Writing in the Telegraph yesterday Nick Clegg welcomed the majority of this report but has rejected one particular aspect.

Nick wrote:

It also makes some more debatable assertions, about the appropriate balance of fiscal consolidation between different age groups, for example – punishing pensioners isn’t going to help a single child achieve more in life.

This seems at odds with what the Deputy Prime Minister has said in the past, publicly advocating the need to look again at universal pensioner benefits and that welfare “should not be paid to those who do not need it”. Continue reading