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Pension Credit

Volume 489: debated on Monday 16 March 2009

12. What estimate his Department has made of the amount of pension credit unclaimed by residents of Merseyside. (263325)

Estimates of the amount of unclaimed pension credit are not available at regional level. In Merseyside, there are 88,410 households—107,670 individuals—in receipt of pension credit.

I thank the Minister for that answer. A constituent of mine was refused pension credit on the not unreasonable grounds that he was in prison. However, he has never committed an offence or been convicted or gone to prison in his life. Does this not show we have some way to go in administering this scheme, or that we simply do not know who is in prison?

Obviously, the hon. Gentleman’s constituent would not have been very pleased to be accused of being in prison if he was not. However, we have been able to ensure that the targeting of pension credit has become increasingly successful. Of course we regret any errors, and I am sure the hon. Gentleman will pass our apologies on to his constituent, but, in general, I hope he will realise that pension credit has helped millions of very vulnerable pensioners, particularly since this Government came to power.