§ Mr. Edward Davey
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions how many pensioners entitled to council tax benefit were non-recipients in the financial years(a) 2002–03 and (b) 2003–04; and how much the unclaimed benefit amounted to in each year. 
§ Mr. Pond
The information requested is not available.
Latest estimates of the number of pensioners who are entitled to but not receiving council tax benefit and the amount of benefit unclaimed relate to financial year 2001–02. These are published in the DWP report: "Income Related Benefits Estimates of Take-Up in 2001/2002"; copies of the publication can be found in the Library. DWP statisticians will announce the publication date of the next set of statistics in Updates'—the bulletin of National Statistics releases.
Local authorities have a statutory duty to promote awareness of council tax benefit. To support them in this I launched a national campaign on 1 March 2004 to particularly encourage pensioners to claim council tax benefit.