Chris Elmore MP has held a productive meeting with the Older People’s Commissioner for Wales, Heléna Herklots, to discuss a number of issues currently affecting local residents.
Last Friday, the Ogmore MP put pension credit at the front and centre of his discussions with the Commissioner. Research from the charity Independent Age shows that around £5.2 million worth of pension credit is currently going unclaimed across Chris’ Ogmore constituency alone. As part of their meeting, Chris and the Commissioner discussed what more could be done in a Welsh context to ensure older generations receive the support they’re entitled to.
Pension credit provides those eligible with a top-up to their pension to ensure that their income is a minimum of £142.70 a week for a single claimant, and £217.90 for a couple. The Department for Work and Pensions has a responsibility to ensure that customers are aware of pension credit, but the responsibility for claiming it lies with the individual. The Conservative’s decision to break their 2017 manifesto commitment to protect free TV licenses means that over 75s will now have to pay for a license unless they are in receipt of pension credit.
Speaking after the meeting, Chris Elmore MP said:
“It’s been great to meet with the Commissioner today. We were able to touch upon many of the concerns and issues raised with me by constituents recently which was really positive.
“The lack of awareness around pension credit is quite alarming and needs addressing immediately. The UK Government has a real responsibility to get to grips with this. The most vulnerable people in our society need to be receive what they’re rightly entitled to. But instead the government seems intent on pulling the rug from under their feet.”
Heléna Herklots succeeded Sarah Rochira in August 2018 to become the Older People’s Commissioner and she will serve a term of four years.
Chris Elmore MP added:
“We need to support elderly people across our communities and ensure that no one is left behind. I will continue to work with the Commissioner, third sector organisations and charities, and keep pressing the government to improve the lives of older generations across Wales.
“My office is always on hand to support Ogmore constituents, who can get in touch if they need any help or advice by calling 01656 860 034 or by emailing me via email@example.com”