Express.co.uk is asking YOU to vote on which pensioner benefit you would, or would not, give up to help the younger generation. The Committee on Intergenerational Fairness is calling for an end to retirement subsides including free TV licences, free bus passes, winter fuel payments and the pensions triple lock. The report claims benefits must be rebalanced towards the young in a bid to promote “intergenerational fairness” and prepare Britain for the next 100 years. The report goes on to state that pensioner households are now on average better off than many working age households, both in terms of income after housing costs as well as household wealth.
Lord True, Chairman of the Committee, said benefits must be rebalanced towards the young.
But the suggestion has sparked outrage from charities and pension groups, who suggest taking away these benefits could penalise older people who are struggling to live on low incomes.
Do you think that pensioner perks should be taken away? Would you give up one of these privileges?
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Lord True said his committee is calling for an end to “outdated benefits based purely on age”.
He continued: ”Policies such as the state pension triple lock and free TV licences for over-75s were justified when pensioner households were at the bottom of the income scale but that is no longer the case.
“Longer working lives mean older workers need support to re-skill and continue to contribute in the workplace.
“Younger people, particularly those who do not go to university, need the Government to prioritise and fund further education and vocational training.”
Will Hale, CEO of equity release advice firm Key, was against the call and described free TV licences, winter fuel payments and free bus passes as “vital tools” to some elderly households.
He said: “While more needs to be done about intergenerational fairness, we need to make sure that this does not penalise older people – especially those who are struggling to live on low incomes.
“Free TV licences, winter fuel payments and bus passes might not seem like much to some but these are vital tools to ensure that the more vulnerable members of the older generation remain engaged with wider society.
“Currently, 31 percent of people who take out equity release do so to clear debts and 12 percent to meet regular bills, this indicates the continued financial pressure people are facing in later life.”
Caroline Abrahams, Charity Director at Age UK, said: “We are pleased the Committee found evidence of continuing strong intergenerational bonds across our society, especially within families, and this reflects what we hear too.”
However she added: “Young people may well need more help but we disagree that this should be at the expense of the older generation.
“This underplays the extent of need among older people, and skates over the great difficulty of ensuring a targeted approach which actually reaches those older people who are the most vulnerable.
“All the evidence suggests that means-testing, for example, results in significant numbers of very poor older people missing out.
“More profoundly we reject the notion that helping younger and older people is an ‘either/or’; in practice many at both ends of the age spectrum need our society’s support and an advanced twenty first century economy like the UK is well placed to provide it.”