Let’s hope that the BBC’s decision to restrict the concession of a free TV licence to those who truly need it is extended to the winter fuel allowance and free bus passes.

All these freebies were election sweeteners which are given to too many of the ‘haves’ and whilst the ‘have nots’ do not get enough.

I have a fat cat retired acquaintance in London who boasts that his free bus/train pass saves him over £3,000 and he is more than happy to have the winter fuel allowance contribute to the cost of heating his £1+ million home.

I have not had his reaction to losing the free TV licence he recently qualified for but I can guess it.

If you try to have your bus pass entitlement given to a needy child for travel to/from school it can’t be done, so best simply not to apply for one if it is not needed.

If you give your winter fuel allowance to a food bank it does not stop the taxpayer paying for it and there is no way to opt out of the payment.

Rightly, because I don’t need it, I will not get a free TV licence but there are many who do need one and much more besides.

The sooner a government is bold enough to stop all these needlessly expensive hand-outs so that the same amount and more can be given to those who truly need help the better.

Tony Mason

Portland Road