Midlothian pensioners are missing out on an estimated total of £3,981,835 in unclaimed Pension Credit benefits annually.
The rising cost of living has contributed heavily to pensioner poverty also rising across the UK. No one should ever be faced with the choice of heating their home or having food to eat. Pension Credit is an income-related benefit designed to help pensioners with expenses, but it is estimated that more than two in five pensioner households entitled to Pension Credit do not receive it. Older people entitled to Pension Credit are missing out £49 a week on average, which could help towards their bills or shopping.
On top of this, many of the poorest older people now face losing their free TV licence at no fault of their own, despite being promised at the last General Election by the Conservatives that this wouldn’t happen.
There have been previous awareness raising initiatives run by the Government, but these have failed to increase the number of people getting pension credit. This simply isn’t good enough.
That’s why I’m pleased to support Age Scotland’s campaign to raise awareness of unpaid pension credit. The Government must right this wrong immediately and do more to increase take-up of Pension Credit. I urge older constituents to check their entitlement today by calling the Age Scotland free on 0800 12 44 222, or to contact my office on 0131 663 9675 to see if there is anything I can do to assist you.
Danielle Rowley MP
First published in the Midlothian Advertiser.