Another £10.5bn welfare cut may hurt pensioners

PENSIONERS stand to take a hit to the tune of billions in future years as the chancellor said that the government will have to find welfare savings of £10.5bn per year in order to keep to its deficit reduction goals.

The cuts are not yet detailed but are likely to fall mostly on pensioners because old age benefits and tax credits account for most of the welfare bill.

George Osborne said that the Treasury has yet to work out how it will find the money and will do so along with other departments in a social care bill due later this year.

However, the cuts will not kick in until after the election, with the welfare bill forecast to be cut by £6.6bn per year in 2015-2016 and then to reach the full annual savings of £10.5bn the year after that.

But even with those cuts, the Budget said: “Welfare spending is expected to grow as a share of [total spending].” The extent of the cuts needed point to the scale of the pensions crisis facing the country.