Local MPs Unite against Pensions Scandal

November 3, 2005 11:49 AM

Local MPs, Andrew Stunell and Mark Hunter have exposed new pension credit figures that show 4,223 pensioners across Stockport are missing out on money that is rightfully theirs.

Hazel Grove MP, Andrew Stunell said:

"It is a scandal that so many poorer older people are missing out on money they should be getting as of right. It means that the local economy in Stockport is missing out on as much as £182,930 per year."

Cheadle MP, Mark Hunter added:

"Anyone who is unsure about their entitlements should ring the Pension Service helpline to find out if they are missing out.

"We are calling for the Government to provide pensioners with a decent pension that isn't falling further and further below the poverty line each year."

ENDS

1. The Pension Credit is a means-tested benefit for people over 60 with low incomes. It ensures that an individual doesn't live on less than £109.45 a week, and a couple on less than £167.05 a week.

2. Calls to the Pension Credit application line are freephone: 0800 99 1234. Lines are open Monday to Friday between 8am - 8pm and Saturdays 9am - 1pm

3. The figures were published by the Department for Work and Pensions on 20th October. The most recent figures do not appear to have been made available on the website yet (http://www.dwp.gov.uk/asd/pcpc.asp) but they can be emailed on request.

4. The estimate of how many pensioners are missing out applies the national non-take up rate of 34.2% to the local figures. Nationally, the Government estimates that 5 million pensioners are eligible for Pension Credit. With only 3,291,250 in receipt that means that nationally, 1.7 million pensioners are missing out.

5. The estimate of how much the local economy is missing out on is estimated from the number of people missing out locally times the average payment for pensioners in the area who do receive the Pension Credit.

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