Kate has expressed her concern that the poorest pensioner households in Trafford are missing out on millions of pounds of Pension Credit.
More than 1,918 pensioner households in Kate’s constituency are continuing to miss out on £4,325,000 of Pension Credit every year according to new government figures.
Between April 2017 and March 2018, the government retained £2.5 billion in unclaimed Pension Credit across Great Britain.
This is why the national older people’s charity, Independent Age, is urging the government to take decisive action to remedy this scandal as part of its Credit Where It’s Due campaign.
Kate is supporting the campaign and is calling on the government to commit to creating a comprehensive action plan for Pension Credit, with firm take-up targets.
The campaign also advocates for the government to commission up-to-date research to gain a better understanding of why this money is not getting to the two in five pensioner households missing out.
From 1 June this year, all over 75-year olds will no longer be entitled to a free TV licence and will need to receive Pension Credit in order to be eligible.
According to Independent Age, because take up of Pension Credit is so low, hundreds of thousands of pensioners who could be eligible for a free TV licence when the change comes in will miss out.
Kate said: “Far too many older people in Stretford and Urmston are not receiving the Pension Credit they’re entitled to, and I’m pleased to be backing Independent Age’s Credit Where It’s Due campaign.
“Pension Credit is meant to be a safety net for our least well-off older people, but right now there are pensioners having to choose between heating and eating.
“These new statistics on Pension Credit take-up show that far more needs to be done to ensure every older person entitled to this benefit receives it.
“The government must commit to improving this situation and set out the steps it will take to ensure that Pension Credit reaches the poorest pensioners.”
Morgan Vine, Head of Policy and Influencing at Independent Age, said: “Older people in Stretford and Urmston continue to miss out on £4,325,000 of Pension Credit every year, because the government has failed to take action to improve take-up.
“We’re delighted that Kate is supporting Independent Age’s Credit Where It’s Due campaign. We are calling on the government to take decisive, immediate action to find out why people are not receiving Pension Credit and to implement an action plan to improve the situation.”
If you think you might be entitled to Pension Credit or have any queries about benefits, you can ring the Independent Age helpline on 0800 319 6789 or use their online benefit calculator at https://independentage.entitledto.co.uk/home/start.