Kate has expressed her concern over research showing more than 2,700 pensioner households in her constituency are missing out on £6,115,000 of Pension Credit due to the government’s failure to act.
The research comes from older people’s charity, Independent Age, who has launched its new Credit Where It’s Due campaign to address this scandal.
Pension Credit is a benefit available to help the poorest pensioners make ends meet.
Since the last General Election, the government has held on to a staggering £7 billion (£3.5 billion each year) in unclaimed Pension Credit – a figure that will increase to over £17 billion by 2022.
Kate is supporting the Credit Where It’s Due campaign and is calling on the government to commit to a 75 per cent take-up target of Pension Credit by 2020.
This would lift 500,000 out of poverty, putting an additional £1.25 billion into the pockets of pensioners.
According to a recent poll, 81 per cent of people agree that the government needs to make sure all older people who are entitled to Pension Credit are receiving it.
Kate has written to the Department of Work and Pensions on behalf of her constituents missing out on pension credit.
Kate said: “It’s a disgrace that so many older people in my constituency aren’t receiving the Pension Credit they’re entitled to. Pension Credit can transform the lives of older people in our community, allowing them to live with dignity and independence, and we must ensure that the poorest pensioners are protected.
“That’s why I’m pleased to be backing Independent Age’s campaign to press the government on pension credit. More of the same will not deliver the change that is urgently needed.”
George McNamara, Director of Policy and Influencing at Independent Age, said: “Older people in Stretford and Urmston continue to miss out on an average of £61 a week in Pension Credit because the system doesn’t work for them. This support could offer a vital lifeline and mean they don’t have to choose between food or fuel.
“We’re delighted that Kate is supporting Independent Age’s Credit Where It’s Due campaign. Now the government must deliver a new, ambitious approach to make sure that this essential safety net is working for those who need it.”