REPORTS that pensioners with large amounts of savings could be asked to forego benefits have been questioned in Pinner.
Health care think-tank Nuffield Trust said the so-called wealthy baby-boomers could miss out on universal benefits such as the public transport Freedom Pass.
One potential source of funding could come from restricting some of the universal benefit payments to older people with higher incomes and wealth, the report said.
This could include, for example, the winter fuel payment, free TV licences and travel concessions. Arguments in favour of such a proposal would need to balance the financial benefits up to s1.4billion a year against the costs in terms of fairness and the impact on social solidarity (tying all people into welfare), which can be hard to quantify.
But James Kincaid, chair of the Pinner Association health sub-committee, said: It is one way of saving money, but I think the method of introducing this would have to be very carefully monitored.
Whether people who could afford to would volunteer to give up their passes, or whether it would be phased in with some sort of means test, I dont know.
By 2030, more than 10 per cent of the population will be aged 75 or older, which represents a growth of 70 per cent in this category.
Mr Kincaid added: It could be said that something like the Freedom Pass in times of financial stricture is unnecessarily generous, but means testing would be prohibitively expensive.
It would have an impact on places like Pinner and the impact would be that many people could afford to pay for these things.
It would save some money but unless it was very wide ranging I am not sure how it could save that much money.
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