Paula Sherriff MP is backing a campaign calling for reform of Pension Credit for older people and is calling on the government to ensure that more money reaches the poorest pensioner households.
This comes as the older people’s charity, Independent Age, estimates that some 2,248 pensioner households, more than 40% of those eligible, are missing out on over £5 million worth of Pension Credit in Dewsbury, Mirfield Denby Dale and Kirkburton.
The campaign is calling on the government to end the scandal of £3.5bn allocated each year to eradicating pensioner poverty which goes unspent and is simply returned to central government funds.
Paula Sherriff MP said;
“It is an absolute disgrace that, in Dewsbury alone, every year, a massive £5,444,000 of Pension Credit is not reaching the older people who are entitled to it.
“This would average around £49 a week for those eligible – and could help make the weekly shop more affordable, pay essential bills or go towards paying for social activities that reduce loneliness and improve mental and physical health.
“With the added prospect of losing their TV licence, I have been contacted by a number of distressed constituents who are unsure if they are eligible to receive Pension Credit. When they call the Government’s Pension Credit claim line, they find it unhelpful at best and actively confusing at worst.
“Over the past decade the government has failed to increase take up of pension credit – they must start by simplifying the application process.
“This Tory Government must act to ensure that everyone who is entitled to Pension Credit receives it, and they must act now.”
Applying for pension credit;
Pension Credit applicants will need to call the Pension Service on 0800 99 1234.
Applicants will need to provide their national insurance number, income, savings and investments information and bank account details to start.