Older People’s Commissioner for Wales, Heléna Herklots CBE, said:
“I welcome the report published today by the Assembly’s Equality, Local Government and Communities Committee, which highlights the ways in which the financial entitlements system creates barriers to reducing poverty.
“Despite the positive difference that financial entitlements can make to people’s lives, they are often massively underclaimed. It is estimated, for example, that over £200 million of pension credit goes unclaimed in Wales each year.
“Ensuring that people are able to claim the financial support to which they are entitled is essential, which is why I am circulating information about claiming pension credit to every older person currently renewing their bus pass in Wales.
“But more still needs to be done, which is why I particularly welcome the Committee’s recommendation for the Welsh Government to take action, in the form of a wide-ranging and extensive public awareness campaign, to improve take up of all benefits in Wales, and for a statutory duty to be placed on local authorities to provide advice on financial entitlements.
“I look forward to seeing the Welsh Government’s response to the report, which I hope will take forward the Committee’s recommendations in a positive and constructive way.”