8,674 Wirral pensioners missing out on £21.3 million in unclaimed Pension Credit
Birkenhead’s MP Frank Field is calling for a renewed effort from the Government to eliminate pensioner poverty in Wirral, by ensuring eligible households are receiving their full Pension Credit entitlement of between £50 and £55 a week.
His call follows new data, released by Independent Age, predicting that the number of households on low-incomes who are entitled to, but not receiving, Pension Credit is:
- 2,881 in Birkenhead,
equating to £7,233,210 in unclaimed Pension Credit annually
- 2,754 in Wallasey, equating to £6,792,387 in unclaimed Pension Credit annually
- 1,670 in Wirral West, equating to £4,014,976 in unclaimed Pension Credit annually
- 1,369 in Wirral South, equating to £3,267,589 in unclaimed Pension Credit annually
Commenting on the data, Frank said: ‘There is now a significant number of pensioners in Wirral who are reliant upon social supermarkets across the Feeding Birkenhead, Supporting Wirral network, to fend off the worst effects of poverty. It is here that they can pay small sums for their food shopping and eat hot meals for heavily discounted prices. Without Pension Credit, they are often on an income that is so low as to leave them constantly exposed to hardship. We need the Government to be more proactive in ensuring pensioners are in receipt of their full social security entitlement, to help them cover their living costs. Everyone who is entitled to Pension Credit should receive it.’
As part of an emergency response to the data, the social supermarket at Number 7, in the Pyramids shopping precinct in Birkenhead, has opened discussions with local branches of Age UK and Citizens Advice around the provision of specialist in-store support for pensioners, with the aim of signing them up to their full social security entitlement.