It is not possible to disaggregate spending on pensioner benefits in general to reveal how much has been spent specifically to tackle pensioner poverty in any particular area.
However, our policies have been highly effective in tackling pensioner poverty and now, for the first time ever in a period of sustained economic growth, pensioners are less likely to be in poverty than the population as a whole. Since 1997, 1 million pensioners have been lifted out of poverty. Pension credit has played a key part in addressing pensioner poverty; since its introduction the number of pensioners in relative poverty has fallen by half a million. The latest estimates showed that 2.7 million households were receiving pension credit, and this includes 3,150 households in Eltham.
Nationally, as a result of the measures that this Government have introduced since 1997, we will be spending £10.5 billion more on pensioners in 2006-07 than if 1997 policies had continued. Almost half this spending—over £5 billion—is going to the poorest third of pensioners.