The Deputy Speaker of the House of Commons, and MP for the Ribble Valley, Nigel Evans is joining Independent Age in their call to encourage those entitled to Pension Credit to claim it to save £4.2 million each year in the Ribble Valley.
The most recent statistics show that in 2017-2018 an estimated 70% of the total amount of Pension Credit that could have been claimed was claimed. With only 6 out of 10 of those entitled to Pension Credit claiming the benefit which is designed to prevent the least well-off pensioners from entering poverty. The amount going unclaimed in the Ribble Valley each year is estimated at £2.2 million.
The knock-on effects of those entitled to pension credit not receiving it are huge. Not only placing people at risk of poverty but placing strains on the NHS and social care systems and costing the taxpayers. In the Ribble Valley alone more than 1,196 households entitled to Pension Credit do not claim the benefit, the effect of this failure is costing the NHS and social care systems in the Ribble Valley £4.2million per year.
Professor Donal Hirsch and Dr Juliet Stone concluded that if Pension Credit take-up was increased to 100% almost 450,000 people could be lifted out of poverty, reducing pensioner poverty as well as reducing the strain on the NHS and the estimated cost of £4 billion per year for taxpayers across Britain.
Morgan Vine, Head of Policy and Influencing at independent Age, said;
“Taxpayers are unnecessarily footing the bill for an extra £4.2 million of extra health and care costs in Ribble Valley – when it would be significantly less expensive to simply ensuring people receive the Pension Credit to which they are entitled.”
“A take-up rate of only 61% for an entitlement designed to keep older people out of poverty is indefensible – and this rate has stayed stagnant for a decade. Without this money, many people are prevented from living with dignity and having a social, well-connected later life.”
Ribble Valley MP Nigel Evans, said:
“I’m deeply concerned about the high number of older people in the Ribble Valley who are not receiving the Pension Credit to which they’re entitled, and I’m pleased to be backing the call to encourage those entitled to Pension Credit to claim it and urgently turn this situation around.”
“The knock-on effects on the NHS and care systems are costing taxpayers £4.2 million in the Ribble Valley alone, so I encourage those entitled to Pension Credit to ensure they receive what they deserve.”
“It is clear 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 and our NHS and care services.”
The low claim rate of Pension Credit in the Ribble Valley is not only placing pensioners at risk of poverty, but it is unnecessarily costing taxpayers through the strains placed on the NHS and care services. By urging those entitled to Pension Credit to receive it, pensioner poverty in the Ribble Valley can be reduced as well as helping to lessen the strains placed on the taxpayers and NHS.