CHARLES GRAHAM - We can’t keep handing out universal benefits

THIS country cannot afford to keep giving universal benefits, it is as simple as that.

Why anyone thinks it is necessary for millionaires to receive a winter fuel allowance when many people are going hungry in recession-hit Britain is beyond me.

Only this week Alan Sugar was Tweeting as such after getting his cheque.

Yet moves to means-test the allowance have been resisted in some quarters.

So too the Government’s withdrawing this week of child benefits from people earning more than £60,000 a year.

That too makes sense but unfortunately the move to focus welfare on the neediest, while cutting Britain’s colossal welfare bill has been completely undermined by a glaring inconsistency.

And that is that while £60,000 – a salary way beyond the dreams of most of us – is rightly deemed sufficient not to warrant child benefit, a combined salary from two people in the same household of up to £100,000 is not.

What a nonsense!

And very strange that such a cuts-fixated Government should miss out on such massive extra savings in an area where it hurts less than most.