In Questions to the Department for Work and Pensions, I pointed out the UK Government’s hypocrisy on its claims to support the elderly and vulnerable, when it is sneaked out cuts to mix-aged couples in receipt of Pension Credit amidst the Brexit chaos, which will leave thousands of pensioners out of pocket by up to £7,320 each year.
Pension Credit was introduced specifically to tackle pensioner poverty and provides a guaranteed minimum income to those over state pension age. If a single pensioner’s’ weekly income is less than £163 or their joint weekly income is less than £248.80 as a couple (£255.25 from May), Pension Credit tops it up accordingly.
However, from this May, stealth cuts from the UK Government mean that pensioners with younger partners will have to claim Universal Credit instead. Pensioners will have to wait until their partner also reaches 65, increasing to 66 in October 2020, as the state pension age rises, to be able to claim Pension Credit.
This Tory Government is no friend to pensioners, and the Minister’s response demonstrated this, with no concern for the serious effect this change will have to some of the most vulnerable older people in our communities.