§ 15. Annabelle Ewing (Perth)
What recent assessment he has made of the take-up rate of pension credit in Scotland. 
§ The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Work and Pensions (Maria Eagle)
Pension credit has got off to a good start in Scotland. Already, 155,000 pensioners in Scotland are better off than they were under the old system and, for the first time, people who have saved for their retirement are being rewarded. At the end of October, there were already 202,000 pensioner households in Scotland receiving pension credit.
§ Annabelle Ewing
I thank the Minister for that answer. Obviously, however, much still needs to be done to ensure that all pensioners in Scotland receive their entitlement as soon as possible. In that regard, is the Minister concerned by reports that one of the partner organisations in the take-up campaign, Help the Aged, has proposed swingeing and disproportionate cuts to its services in Scotland, including the closure of the Edinburgh office of its free telephone advice service, SeniorLine? Surely that is likely to have a negative impact on take-up in Scotland.
§ Maria Eagle
I am always concerned to hear about organisations that do good work, such as Age Concern, having that kind of difficulty. I hope, though, that the hon. Lady will be able to step into the breach and start to encourage pensioners in Perth to claim their entitlement. if she did so, far more people would claim. I hope that she will be able to do that, even though her party opposed the pension credit.
§ John Robertson (Glasgow, Anniesland)
I congratulate my hon. Friend and her Department on the work that they are doing. Will she assure me and the elderly people of Anniesland that, even when we reach 482 the June deadline for contacting people, we will not stop there, and that we will not be satisfied until every pensioner is getting what they are due?
§ Maria Eagle
My hon. Friend is well known for the work that he does in this area, particularly on encouraging pensioners to take up their entitlement. I am sure that he will not stop doing so come next June. It is certainly our intention that everybody who is entitled to pension credit should take up that entitlement, and the Pension Service—particularly the local service—will continue its effort to ensure that as many people as possible, and preferably all those who are entitled, take up their entitlement.