Low-income pensioners hit by Tory cuts to Pension Credit could also lose access to other benefits, such as cold-weather payments, MSPs have been warned.
From 15 May, mixed-age couples – where one person is of state pension age and the other is younger – will no longer be able to claim Pension Credit, costing couples up to £140 per week, or £7,000 per year.
Age Scotland has told a Holyrood committee that Pension Credit is a “passporting benefit,” meaning that some couples who face losing out may not be able to claim other forms of assistance such as cold-weather payments, housing benefit, and Council Tax Reduction.
This stark warning comes after it revealed that a majority (56%) of Pension Credit claimants are disabled.
Age Scotland also warned that those who have been hit by changes to the state pension age (WASPI) will also be negatively affected by these changes to Pension Credit, which are “likely to have a greater impact on women.”
Commenting, Alasdair Allan MSP said:
“The impact of this Tory cut – which was conveniently sneaked out the back door on the evening of an important Brexit vote – is truly shocking.
“This cut is going to hit pensioners in need, a majority of whom are disabled – and it is staggering the knock-on impact could also see them lose access to cold-weather payments and other benefits.
“Evidence of Westminster’s failure on welfare grows every day. The Tories can’t keep sweeping the harmful effects of their welfare cuts under the rug.
“The UK Government must urgently reverse this attack on low-income pensioners.”