Joan Bakewell and Neil O'Brien
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Dame Joan Bakewell: 'I tried to send benefit back'

Dame Joan Bakewell - appointed as a 'voice of older people' by the previous government- unsuccessfully tried to send her winter fuel payment back, adding: "I don't need this, I really don't need it."

But she was told there was no mechanism for her to return the money paid to all pensioners and she suggested people who don't want the money should give it to charity.

She was discussing the future of universal benefits, such as travel passes and TV licences, with Neil O'Brien, who runs the Policy Exchange think tank.

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  • 11 Oct 2010
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