Pensioners Cost Taxpayers £16bn A Year



It has been revealed that concessions to pensioners cost the taxpayer £16billion a year, according to research conducted by the Institute of Economic Affairs.

The research claims that the elderly have received special treatment and are more or less exempt from spending cuts.

Meanwhile, younger people have been hit hardest by higher tuition fees and cuts to child benefit, the institute argues.

The institute is also calling for the government to abolish benefits that are not means-tested, such as free bus travel, free TV licenses and the winter fuel allowance. The controversial proposals are expected to receive strong opposition on both sides of the political divide.

“The reality is that the Government’s cuts announced so far only take public spending in real terms back to 2008 levels. By including older people in the cuts an additional £16billion a year could be saved,” claims Philip Booth, editorial director at the IEA.

“The Government has imposed many new burdens on the younger generation in how it has chosen to cut and where it has chosen to raise taxes. They have let older people remain largely insulated from much of the cuts. It’s time this changed,” added Booth.

The IEA claims that free bus travel for pensioners costs £1.3billion a year, free TV licenses £700million and the winter fuel allowance £2.1billion. As these types of payments are not means-tested, even the richest pensioners gain.

The Chancellor has already announced £81billion of spending cuts and £30billion of tax rises to help tackle a £156billion deficit.

However, the IEA called for George Osborne to take further action to restore Britain’s finances. The IEA are also calling for a reform to the state pension that it says would take savings up to £16billion a year by 2016.

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