In response to the protection of universal benefits for older people in the Spending Review, Baroness Sally Greengross, Chief Executive of the International Longevity Centre-UK (ILC-UK) said:

“The Government’s decision not to introduce any cuts to universal benefits for older people in this Spending Review means they have passed this political hot potato onto a future spending announcement. Recent statements from Ministers and the Opposition criticising these benefits tells us that they can’t and won’t be protected forever.

What we need in this era of austerity is for Government to lay out a clear, robust and long-term plan for universal benefits. ILC-UK believes that all ages need to share the burden of spending cuts and introducing a progressive tax on older people’s benefits would be the only fair and equitable means for cutting back on spending on older people. Means-testing is too expensive and scrapping universal benefits entirely would be disastrous for those vulnerable older people who are reliant on their bus pass to avoid becoming isolated and their winter fuel allowance to heat their homes.

Any future decisions over cuts in universal benefits will also need to be tempered by the need to avoid creating an intergenerational conflict over benefits. As a think tank concerned with the welfare of present and future older generations, we call upon the Government and Opposition to ensure that concerns with inequality within generations as well as between them are made central to any discussions over benefit cuts”.

Contact: Jessica Watson at ILC-UK on 02073400440.


ILC-UK are once again looking for someone to speak for 10 minutes on the plenary platform in front of 250 people at our annual Future of Ageing Conference (29th November, London).

“Auto-enrolment has successfully led to millions more saving each month towards a pension, but the Committee is right to call for action to get people saving more. We are pleased they support our recommendations to consider automatic escalation of pension contributions for some individuals, and we agree that a strategy is needed to automatically-enrol the self-employed."

Dr Brian Beach, Senior Research Fellow at ILC-UK and who gave oral evidence to the Committee, welcomes the Committee’s call for stronger action by Government and EHRC and says it’s crucial that employers understand what ageism really is.

“The latest Fiscal Sustainability Report makes it very clear that we are facing an uncertain future. Demographic pressures are set to continue to dominate the agenda, with health, pension and adult social care spending all set to rise as a proportion of total GDP."

Are you looking for a short-term paid role in a think tank over the summer?
The independent think tank the International Longevity Centre – UK (ILC-UK) is seeking a summer intern to start on Monday 23 July. The intern would work 4 days a week for a period of 4 weeks, with the possibility of extension.

New research ‘An Economic Analysis of Flu Vaccination’ paints a picture of lives saved and costs averted, but more needs to be done to increase uptake