Access to Pension Credit

Part of the debate – in Westminster Hall at 5:12 pm on 24th July 2019.

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Photo of Guy Opperman Guy Opperman The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Work and Pensions 5:12 pm, 24th July 2019

No; I was quoting what the BBC said about the fiscal settlement, which made it clear that it was a strong deal that gave the BBC financial stability, and that the decision to put the cost on the BBC had been

“more than matched by the deal coming back for the BBC”,

which it then decided to take a differing approach to. Officials will continue to monitor the position.

I want to talk briefly about historical activity. Successive Governments have tried to promote pension credit, yet the take-up has remained stubbornly at around 60% for some considerable time. When pension credit was launched in 2003 there were higher figures, of up to 74%, but the Office for Budget Responsibility’s fiscal risk report from May 2008 stated that

“experience from 2003 to 2008, suggests that very large increases in take-up are unlikely”.

The Department for Work and Pensions under the Labour Government commissioned and examined that report. Successive Governments have put forward a variety of innovative approaches, but research in 2010 indicated that the most common reason given by those identified as eligible, for not claiming pension credit was that they believed they would not be entitled, typically because they had savings or other sources of income.