HC Deb 09 February 2004 vol 417 cc1140-1W
22. Mr. Viggers

To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions what percentage of pensioners are entitled to means-tested benefits. [153194]

Mr. Pond

We estimate that around half of all pensioner households across Great Britain are eligible for Pension Credit and other income related benefits and stand to gain on average £400 a year. Our priority is to target money on the poorest pensioners and there are already 1.4 million pensioner households on Pension Credit who are getting more money than they did before.

The way we are assessing pensioners' incomes in Pension Credit is vastly different from the stigmatising weekly means tests of the past. We want all those pensioners who are eligible to apply for their entitlement. It would be a great shame if the phrase `means-test' was allowed to get in the way of pensioners applying for what is rightfully theirs.

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