IDS defends pensioner benefits
Iain Duncan Smith has defended the Government’s spending on pensioners’ benefits, saying he would not allow the elderly to be “demonised”.
The Government has so far resisted calls to make cuts to pensioners’ universal payments, such as the winter fuel payment and free bus passes, despite seeking to impose a below-inflation cap on other welfare payments.
And the Work and Pensions Secretary today insisted the Government would not target pensioners.
“We’re all going to be pensioners at some point,” he told the Today programme. “Nobody is going to be demonised on my watch who is a pensioner. They’ve all given a huge amount to this country.”
Mr Duncan Smith also highlighted comments from Paul Johnson, director of the Institute for Fiscal Studies, who pointed out pensioners did not have the ability to change their incomes easily.
However Mr Johnson also added that it had been “very noticeable” that pensioners had scarcely been impacted by the Government’s austerity programme.