Labour: 'Rich OAPs would lose winter fuel payments'

Labour would axe winter fuel payments for hundreds of thousands of the UK's richest pensioners, Ed Balls will signal today.

Support for better-off OAPs "can no longer be a priority" at a time of harsh public spending cuts, the shadow chancellor will declare.

Shadow Chancellor Ed Balls Credit: Press Association

Mr Balls will hail the move to end universality as an example of the Opposition's willingness to show "iron discipline" if it takes power in 2015.

He will urge Chancellor George Osborne to heed warnings about the UK's economic prospects and increase borrowing to boost growth.

But he will insist Labour is ready to deal with a "bleak inheritance" if Mr Osborne fails to change course on the coalition's austerity programme.