MP calls on pensioners to claim extra

WAVENEY MP Bob Blizzard has urged north Suffolk pensioners to claim the extra weekly pension they are entitled to with the government's introduction of the new Pension Credit.

WAVENEY MP Bob Blizzard has urged north Suffolk pensioners to claim the extra weekly pension they are entitled to with the government's introduction of the new Pension Credit.

He told MPs yesterday that those who opposed Pension Credit with scare stories of old fashioned means testing were causing pensioners to miss out on a valuable addition to their weekly pension that could be worth up to £25.10 a week extra for a single pensioner or £32.80 a week extra for couples.

Speaking in the House of Commons, the Labour MP said: "Are not those who try to dissuade pensioners from claiming the credit by trying to make out that it is the same as the horrible means tests of decades ago, introduced by the Tories, doing those pensioners a disservice?

"Although some pensioners in my constituency are finding the performance of the Pension Service in processing their claims a bit patchy, they do not find the questions demeaning, because they are similar to questions that they have often had to answer when signing hire purchase agreements to buy cars and the like."


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In reply, Pensions Minister, Malcolm Wicks said: "This form of income testing is very different from the old weekly means test over which the last Government presided, and a million miles away from what we had in the 1930s.

"I hope that when people make public comments on the subject they will avoid using absurd terminology such as 'stigma' and 'demeaning', because that puts off people who are entitled to the money, many of whom live in poverty. We want to ensure that they have that money, as I hope that the whole House does.

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Bob Blizzard said afterwards: "I want as many Waveney pensioners as possible to get what they are entitled to and what they deserve.

"Pension Credit is aimed at those with modest second pensions or savings who missed out on the Minimum Income Guarantee and offers a substantial amount of extra weekly pension. It rewards those who saved."

Single pensioners with an income of less than £139.10 a week and couples with less than £203.80 a week can gain from pension credit.

For more information, or to make a claim, call free phone on 0800 99 1234.

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