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Women and Equalities

Volume 683: debated on Monday 2 November 2020

Covid-19: Support for Older People

The following is an extract from oral questions to the Minister for Women and Equalities on 21 October 2020.

It is estimated that there is more than £2 billion out there every year that is the legal right of older people on those islands. Pension credit does not make anybody wealthy, but it can make the difference between the loneliness and misery that poverty brings and the joy of simply being able to engage in life again. Will the Minister responsible for fighting for those older people agree to take this on as an equalities issue and put resources into ensuring that people have the knowledge and support—including support in using the online service she mentioned—to access what is, after all, a legal entitlement?

In supporting our older people, pension credit is an absolute priority for this Government, as I mentioned earlier. In fact, about 1 million pensioners—close to that number—who are pension credit customers will receive a winter windfall of £140 off their fuel bills, thanks to the Government working with energy firms to cut costs. This Government are determined to do all we can to support pensioners, and the DWP cross-match these pension credit customers with the data held by pension suppliers. I am sure that we will continue to support pensioners as widely as we can through this pandemic and ongoing.

[Official Report, 21 October 2020, Vol. 682, c. 1045.]

Letter of correction from the Under-Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, the hon. Member for Mid Sussex (Mims Davies):

An error has been identified in my response to the hon. Member for Glasgow North East (Anne McLaughlin).

The correct response should have been:

In supporting our older people, pension credit is an absolute priority for this Government, as I mentioned earlier. In fact, about 1 million pensioners—close to that number—who are pension credit customers will receive a winter windfall of £140 off their fuel bills, thanks to the Government working with energy firms to cut costs. This Government are determined to do all we can to support pensioners, and the DWP cross-match these pension credit customers with the data held by energy suppliers. I am sure that we will continue to support pensioners as widely as we can through this pandemic and ongoing.