27/12/2012 10:16 GMT

Prosperous Pensioners Should Give Winter Fuel Payment To Charity, Says Minister

Prosperous middle-class pensioners who do not need their winter fuel payment should give the money to poorer old people or good causes, the charities minister has said.

Nick Hurd spoke out as senior ministers debate the future of universal benefits such as the winter fuel payment and free bus passes. Mr Hurd told The Daily Telegraph that he would “support, congratulate and encourage” anyone who gave away their annual fuel payment.

The Liberal Democrats, backed by some senior Tories, have said better-off pensioners should lose such benefits.