- Gerald Jones MP calls for UK Government to take action over Pension Credit scandal
- 80,000 people in Wales currently missing out on benefit system designed to help pensioners in poverty
- 3,200 households in Merthyr Tydfil and Rhymney currently missing out on £5.9 million of Pension Credit
- 3 million households in the UK missing out on over £3.5 billion of Pension Credit in total, including over £200 million in Wales
- Government has failed to increase take-up rate of Pension Credit beyond 65% – or 2 in 5 households – over last 10 years
In a crucial debate in Parliament this week Gerald Jones, MP for Merthyr Tydfil and Rhymney, urged the UK Government to take immediate action over the Pension Credit scandal, the means-tested benefit designed to help pensioners living in poverty.
Currently only 2 in 5 households (65 per cent) entitled to the benefit are receiving it, totalling over a million pensioners missing out on money which adds up to £3.5 billion, or £200 million for households in Wales – an average payment for pensioners of £49 per week.
As many as 3,220 households in Merthyr Tydfil and Rhymney are missing out on £5.9 million in Pension Credit, and Gerald Jones urged the Government Minister to listen to the concerns of pensioners living in poverty in Merthyr Tydfil and the Upper Rhymney Valley, who without the benefit are struggling to pay for utility bills or their weekly shop.
Speaking in the debate in Parliament, Gerald said: “It is shocking that more than two in five pensioner households are not receiving the pension credit to which they are entitled, an average of £49 per week.
“The Government must now act to improve the take-up of pension credit and launch a campaign to create wider awareness of it, in order to lift pensioners out of poverty and give them the quality of life that they deserve.
“I plead with the Minister to consider the real and grave concerns that have been raised during today’s debate, and come forward with answers, not words, to address an injustice that is causing hardship to those who can least afford it.”