MP tables EDM on pension credit change

Independent MP Stephen Lloyd has tabled an Early Day Motion (EDM) calling on the government to reverse the changes to the pension credit system.

Tabling the motion on February 14, Lloyd said the changes represent a “backward step” and are a “disgrace” that could lead to an increase in pensioner poverty.

In January, the government were accused of “sneaking out” the announcement that will cut benefits available to some older ‘mixed age’ couples by over £7,000 per year.

Previously, the transition would take place once only one partner had reached state pension age and applied for pension credit in their name.

Lloyd said: “If changes to pension credits are introduced. Many citizens could be as much as over £7,000 a year worse off. Much has been done in recent years to address the issue of pension poverty, with the pensions triple lock and the pension freedoms, but these changes are a backward step and, frankly, a disgrace.”

So far, the EDM has attracted 13 signatures, meaning it is unlikely to get debated in the house.

According to analysis, couples on universal credit will receive £114.81 a week, compared to those who receive £255.25 a week on pension credit, amounting to a potential £7,320 a year.

The Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) has estimated that the number of couples that will be affected by upcoming pension credit changes could reach 40,000 by 2021/22.

Responding to a written question, Pensions Minister Guy Opperman said that the DWP expected 15,000 mixed age couples to be affected in 2019/20, increasing to 30,000 in 2020/21.

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