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South Norfolk
  MP urges pensioners to claim benefit entitlement

  Traffic jams in Long Stratton are a regular occurence
Richard Bacon MP meets with a group of
concerned pensioners

South Norfolk MP Richard Bacon has urged Norfolk’s pensioners to make sure they claim their full benefit entitlement, as a new report finds that pensioners in rural areas are less likely to claim benefits they are entitled to.

Mr Bacon, a member of the Commons public accounts committee, was speaking as the National Audit Office (NAO) published its report  into encouraging pensioners to take up their benefit entitlements.


Nearly 2 million pensioners are thought to live below the poverty line, yet estimates show pensioners in the UK failed to claim 2 billion to 4 billion in pension credit, council tax benefit and housing benefit.

Family, friends and voluntary services are important triggers to claiming benefits, but pensioners in rural areas can often be isolated from these sources of advice and miss out on money they are entitled to claim. Mr Bacon said today:

“There are many obstacles to pensioners in rural areas like Norfolk claiming the benefits they are entitled to. Poor public transport, the closure of rural post offices and general isolation from sources of advice can all play a part in leaving some rural pensioners in real poverty.

“It is unacceptable that, in the UK, nearly 2 million pensioners are living below the poverty line. Pensioners deserve better and I urge them to claim the benefits they are entitled to”.

For more information on claiming pension credit, call The Pension Service on 0800 99 1234. Contact your local district council to find out about claiming council tax benefit and housing benefit

21 July 2006

See also:
NAO REPORT: Encouraging take-up of entitlements
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