Over a thousand pensioner households in Cambridge are missing out on cash they are entitled to – leaving some forced to choose between heating and eating.
According to older people’s charity Independent Age this Government’s failure to deliver Pension Credit is having a knock on effect on the NHS and social care in Cambridge to the tune of £3.9 million every year.
More than 1,124 households in Cambridge who are entitled to Pension Credit do not receive the benefit, which is designed to keep the least well-off pensioners out of poverty. Currently, just six in 10 (61%) people who are entitled to this payment are receiving it.
New research from the Centre for Research in Social Policy, shows that if Pension Credit take-up was increased from 61% to 100%, then almost 450,000 people could be lifted out of poverty. The extra costs for Pension Credit would be more than made up by the savings to the NHS.
Ahead of the Comprehensive Spending Review, Cambridge MP Daniel Zeichner is backing Independent Age’s call for the Government to put in place an ambitious, publicly available action plan detailing how it will work to increase the uptake of Pension Credit over the next five years.
Daniel Zeichner MP said:
“I’m deeply concerned about the high number of older people in Cambridge who are not receiving the Pension Credit to which they’re entitled.
“The knock-on effects on the NHS and care systems are costing taxpayers £3.9 million in Cambridge alone.
“This report provides clear evidence that ensuring Pension Credit is delivered to those who need it is not only the right thing to do for those pensioners, but also the right thing to do for taxpayers.
“The Government’s action plan needs to include a fresh look at roles and responsibilities relating to Pension Credit, putting a stop to blaming older people for this problem.”