Independent pension policy adviser Ros Altmann is urging the Government to overhaul and simplify the system of basic state pensions and pensioners' benefits.
She says the coalition Government's proposals to cut the fuel allowance, free TV licence and other benefits is tantamount to reducing the basic state pension by £10 per week.
"It is an utter disgrace," Altmann says. "It is crazy to have so many add-on benefits anyway. The paternalistic notion of Government deciding how pensioners should spend money is long past its sell-by date.
"Since the state pension is so low, I would urge the Coalition to simply roll the free benefits into the Basic State Pension and make it payable at a decent level; that would be truly radical pension reform.
"Those pensioners who pay tax would then be taxed on the extra income, so saving costs, but the poorest pensioners would receive the full benefit. There would be massive savings in administration costs too."
She highlight the fact that currently there are over thirty benefits pensioners could be entitled to and they all have different rules and qualification criteria.
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