24 September 2008
Government windfall at expense of pensioners
John Barrett, Liberal Democrat MP for Edinburgh West, today warned that Pensioners will miss out on hundreds of millions of pounds in benefits after ministers decided to reduce the time they are given to claim tax credits.
New figures revealed by the Liberal Democrats have revealed that pensioners will lose out on £240m in the first three years of the scheme, with the oldest and most vulnerable pensioners to be the worst affected.
From October 6, people applying for pension credit, housing benefit or council tax benefit will only be able to have their claims backdated for three months, rather than a year as is currently the case.
It is thought that around 100,000 of the UK's poorest pensioners could be affected by the changes, with people potentially losing out on up to £2,000.
John Barrett said:
“Labour's raid on pensioners simply could not come at a worse time.
“These figures show the Treasury is in for a real windfall at the expense of some of the poorest people in our society.
“I cannot see any justification for the change in the backdating rules other than to save money for the Exchequer. The simple reality is that some of the most vulnerable pensioners will be missing out.
“Hot on the heels of the 10p tax fiasco, I am sure pensioners are starting to feel like this Government has a vendetta against them.”