- Gerald Jones MP continuing campaign to raise awareness of Pension Credit and increase take-up rate of benefit, currently at only 65%
- 80,000 people in Wales currently missing out on benefit system designed to help pensioners in poverty
- MP visiting OAP groups and retirement homes across Merthyr Tydfil and Rhymney constituency to ensure entitled pensioners don’t miss out
- 3,220 households in Merthyr Tydfil and Rhymney currently missing out on £5.9 million of Pension Credit
Gerald Jones, MP for Merthyr Tydfil and Rhymney, is continuing his campaign to raise awareness of Pension Credit, the means-tested benefit designed to help pensioners living in poverty, by speaking to senior citizens at local group meetings and retirement homes across the constituency to ensure they do not miss out on any Pension Credit they are entitled to.
Currently, take-up of Pension Credit is at just 65 per cent, with only 2 in 5 UK households entitled to the benefit receiving it, totalling over a million pensioners missing out on money which adds up to £3.5 billion. For Welsh households the figure is £200 million – an average payment for pensioners of £49 per week.
The MP for Merthyr Tydfil and Rhymney has previously called for action on the issue in Parliament, urging the UK Government in a debate in July to improve take-up of Pension Credit immediately.
Since then, Mr Jones has spoken to senior citizen groups and at retirement homes across the constituency, such as Darren Valley Over 50s Club, the Merthyr Tydfil 50+ Forum, and Abercanaid, Pentrebach and Treharris OAP Associations, also updating the groups on the current situation with free TV licences for the over-75s, following the Government’s decision to link this concession to claiming Pension Credit.
As many as 3,220 households in Merthyr Tydfil and Rhymney are missing out on £5.9 million in Pension Credit, with many pensioners who, without the benefit, are struggling to pay for utility bills or even their weekly shop.
Commenting, 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 will continue to do all I can to ensure that all those in our area who can claim Pension Credit are aware of their entitlement, and do not miss out on a crucial benefit they are entitled to.”