Ministers should waste no time to make unpopular cuts to pensioner benefits, a think tank director has said.
Many of those hit by a cut to the winter fuel allowance might “not be around” at the next election, said Alex Wild of the Taxpayers’ Alliance.
And others would forget which party had done it, he added.
At the group’s meeting at the Conservative conference in Manchester, former defence secretary Liam Fox said spending cuts must be “for keeps”.
Mr Wild said the Tories could not wait until a year before the next election to make the necessary cuts to the winter fuel allowance, free bus passes, the Christmas bonus and other pensioner benefits.
Mr Wild, who is research director of the think tank which campaigns for lower taxes and highlights examples of Government waste, said the cuts should be made “as soon as possible after an election for two reasons”.
“The first of which will sound a little bit morbid – some of the people… won’t be around to vote against you in the next election. So that’s just a practical point, and the other point is they might have forgotten by then.”
He added: “If you did it now, chances are that in 2020 someone who has had their winter fuel cut might be thinking, ‘Oh I can’t remember, was it this government or was it the last one? I’m not quite sure.’
“So on a purely practical basis I would say do it immediately. That might be one of those things I regret saying in later life but that would be my practical advice to the government.”