Reform of pensioner benefits shaped by politics not principle

The likelihood of the government reneging on its apparent commitment to pensioner benefits – such as Winter Fuel Payments (WFP), free TV licences, free prescriptions and eye tests, and free bus travel – increased significantly this morning after the Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg signalled his support for dramatic cuts in expenditure in these areas.

There may be strong arguments for and against the system of additional pensioner benefits as it stands. The real danger in the current political climate is that reforms are motivated simply by the positioning of coalition partners, and a desire to reduce the budget deficit at all costs.

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