More than 2,380 pensioner households in West Lancashire are missing out on £5,479,000 of Pension Credit(1) due to the Government’s failure to act – these are the Pensioner Households Missing Out, or PHoMOs.  

Since the last General Election, the government has held on to a staggering £7billion (£3.5billion each year) in unclaimed Pension Credit – a figure that will increase to over £17billion by 2022 – equating to £10million every day. That’s according to older people’s charity, Independent Age, who has launched its new Credit Where It’s Due campaign to address this scandal.  

Rosie Cooper MP is supporting the Credit Where It’s Due campaign and calling on the Government to commit to: 

  • a 75% take-up target by 2020, lifting 500,000 out of poverty, putting an additional £1.25 billion into the pockets of pensioners; and 
  • an Action Plan to make the necessary changes to increase the number of pensioners who benefit. 

The call for government action to address this injustice has been backed by the general public with 81% agreeing that it is the responsibility of the current government to ensure that all older people who are entitled to Pension Credit are receiving it(2).  

West Lancashire MP Rosie Cooper said:
“Far too many older people in West Lancashire 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.  

“The government must commit to improving this situation and set out the steps they will take to ensure that Pension Credit reaches the poorest pensioners. More of the same will not deliver the change that is urgently needed.   

“Pension Credit can transform the lives of older people in our community and across Great Britain, allowing them to live with dignity and independence.  

“I have raised these concerns directly with the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions.  

George McNamara, Director of Policy and Influencing at Independent Age, said:
“Older people in West Lancashire continue to miss out on an average of £49 a week in Pension Credit because the system doesn’t work for them. This support could offer a vital lifeline and mean they don’t have to choose between food or fuel.   

“We’re delighted that Rosie Cooper MP is supporting Independent Age’s Credit Where It’s Due campaign. Now the government must deliver a new, ambitious approach to make sure that this essential safety net is working for those who need it.”   

The full report is available on Independent Age’s website at www.independentage.org  

  • Estimates are based on DWP data on the number of claimants in England, Scotland and Wales (November 2018), and DWP estimates for the total number of eligible non-recipients and the total value of Pension Credit unclaimed (2016/17 data). Pensioner households are those consisting of one or more people above State Pension age. Further detail on the methodology and information on each constituency are available on request.
  • Opinium Research conducted an online survey of 2,087 UK adults (aged 18+) between 4/6/19 and 10/6/19. 81.5% strongly agreed or agreed with the statement ‘It is the responsibility of the current Government to ensure that all older people who are entitled to Pension Credit are receiving it.’ Opinium abides by and employs members of the Market Research Society which is based on the ESOMAR principles. https://www.opinium.co.uk 

About Independent Age 

We offer regular friendly contact, a strong campaigning voice and free, impartial advice on the issues that matter to older people: care and support, money and benefits, health and mobility. A charity founded over 150 years ago, we are independent so older people can be too. 

For more information, visit our website www.independentage.org. 

Arrange to speak to one of our advisers for free and confidential advice and information. Freephone 0800 319 6789 or email advice@independentage.org. 

To make a donation or find out more about how you can support the work of Independent Age and help older people stay independent, please visit independentage.org/support-us 

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