I have once again raised the issue of the difficulties our older people are facing when trying to apply for Pension Credit in Parliament.
It is a disgrace that Pension Credit—the support in place to help our poorest pensioners—has been under-claimed by £7 billion since June 2017 across the UK. In my constituency, that figure stands at £7.4 million. While many pensioners often have to choose between eating and heating, they are unaware that other support has been set aside for them. Those who do try to claim are struggling to get through on the phoneline – sometimes being left on hold for an hour or longer.
Pension Credit is often a gateway benefit so those missing out on this support also miss out on other associated benefits and from next year will also miss out on a free TV licence since only those over 75 year olds on Pension Credit will qualify.
It is clear that the UK Government is no friend, supporter or protector of our older people. It is time for the Government to get a grip, stop punishing our older people, stop punishing people for being poor, get on with the day job and properly address pensioner poverty. Please click below to hear my speech on this important issue.