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Benefit Take-Up

Volume 406: debated on Tuesday 10 June 2003

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To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what action he has taken to ensure that individuals who are entitled to receive working families tax credit, child tax credit and minimum income guarantee or pensioners tax credit apply for these benefits. [116288]

For Working Tax Credit and Child Tax Credit, 1 refer the hon. Member to the answer I gave to the Member for Northavon (Mr. Webb) on 10 February 2003, Official Report, column 604W. Since that date further publicity has included television, press, radio and online advertising as well as direct mail to existing recipients.In respect of the minimum income guarantee I understand from my right hon. Friend the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions that his Department have continued to build on the success of the national MIG take up campaign by introducing a shortened claim form, a new information leaflet and identifying potential entitlement following key life events such as reaching certain age points and new awards of other benefits.

For Pension Credit I refer the hon. Member to the answer given by my hon. Friend the Minister for Pensions to my hon. Friend the Member for Knowsley, South (Mr. O'Hara) on 24 March 2003, Official Report, column 108W. Since that date The Pension Service have completed writing to around 1.8 million pensioners who currently receive the minimum income guarantee to advise them that they need to do nothing and that they will be automatically transferred to Pension Credit.