Clegg keen to cut pension perks

The coalition is set for further division after reports Liberal Democrat leader Nick Clegg is backing calls for cuts in pension benefits such as winter fuel payments and free bus passes. David Cameron is said to be adamant that the Tories should keep to a pledge made before the general election that the payments remain. But Clegg is understood to have told colleagues he wants the winter payments and free TV licences cut for all but the poorest pensioners in a bid to cut government spending. The deputy Prime Minister’s opinion follows calls for cuts yesterday from work and pensions secretary Iain Duncan Smith. He wants to reduce the £5bn bill for elderly benefits, which includes the likes of free TV licences and prescriptions, free bus and Tube travel and NHS eye tests.