It is looking more likely that the Conservatives will be cutting pensioner benefits if they get re-elected next year.
The Works and Pensions Secretary, Iain Duncan Smith, warned that the welfare bill will be set at a limit of £100 billion so therefore sacrifices have to be made and that pensioners shouldn’t be excluded.
It is expected that pensioner benefits such as free bus passes, TV licences and the winter fuel allowance will be means tested so that wealthier pensioners will not be eligible.
Mr Duncan Smith has stated that the State Pension and the job seekers Allowances are the two areas that will not be affected by future cuts to the welfare bill, but money must be saved in other areas, including pensioner benefits.
There is some in-fighting between ministers about where the cuts should be made, with George Osborne wanting cuts to benefits for people of working age. However, other senior members of parliament feel that pensioners’ benefits should also be looked at more closely in a bid to cut £12 billion off the annual welfare cost.
Prime Minister, David Cameron, has said on numerous occasions that he would not cut pensioner benefits and that they would remain universal for all under his leadership until the next general election.
Iain Duncan Smith is amongst many who feel this needs to be reviewed if the Conservatives remain in parliament next year.
Chancellor, George Osborne, announced details of a cap on welfare spending in the Autumn Statement with a view to reducing the current £112 billion annual bill down to £100 billion.
Speaking to fellow MPs, the Works and Pensions Secretary said that pensioner benefits would need to be cut if the Government struggled to meet this target. Fuelling more confusion about which direction the party would go should they remain in parliament after the next general election.
Both Labour and the Liberal Democrats have said they would be reviewing the existing systems for pensioner benefits if they were to get elected in 2015.