Over-complex benefits trap 700,000 pensioners in poverty

August 12, 2008 12:00 AM

700,000 pensioners are living in poverty because they are not getting the benefits they are entitled to, the Liberal Democrats have revealed.

In a Parliamentary answer to the Liberal Democrats, the Government has disclosed that 700,000 pensioners would be lifted out of poverty if they claimed all of the money that they are entitled to.

Hundreds of thousands of pensioners are put off claiming benefits by complex forms and lengthy phone applications, while many assume they aren't entitled to any extra help.

Commenting, Liberal Democrat Shadow Work and Pensions Secretary, Jenny Willott said:

"The benefits system is so complex it is failing the pensioners it is supposed to be helping.

"If the benefit system was simplified to ensure that pensioners get the cash they desperately need, pensioner poverty in Wales would be cut by a third.

"The Government must stop dragging its feet and restore the link between the state pension and earnings immediately. This will ensure all pensioners are better off."

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