§ Mr. Swinney
To ask the Secretary of State for Social Security if she will estimate the saving to the Exchequer from unclaimed income support in respect of pensioners; how much has been spent by her Department directly on advertising income support entitlement to the elderly; and if she will make a statement. 
§ Mr. Keith Bradley
The Department's spending plans assume existing levels of take-up of benefits, taking into account any observed trends. Unclaimed benefit does not, therefore, represent a saving on published spending plans. Latest estimates are that between £670 million and £890 million of Income Support was unclaimed by around a million pensioners in 1995–96. We are determined to get help to this group, and have already commissioned research to find out why they do not make a claim. From April, we will be spending £15 million on a number of pilot projects to find the best way of encouraging them to make a claim.
In 1996–97, the Benefits Agency spent over £5 million on publicising all benefits. It is not possible to identify how much of that figure directly related to Income Support for the elderly.