EAST Lancashire pensioners on low incomes are being urged to claim a government benefit aimed at keeping them our of poverty.

Ribble Valley Conservative MP Nigel Evans estimates £2.2million in Pension Credit goes unclaimed in his constituency alone adding £4.2m to local NHS and social care bills.

The Deputy Speaker of the House of Commons is backing a campaign by Independent Age to increase take-up nationally from six out of ten of those eligible for it

Mr Evans, said: “I’m deeply concerned about the high number of older people in the Ribble Valley who are not receiving the Pension Credit to which they’re entitled, and I’m pleased to be backing the call to encourage those entitled to Pension Credit to claim it and urgently turn this situation around.

“The knock-on effects on the NHS and care systems are costing taxpayers £4.2 million in the Ribble Valley alone, so I encourage those entitled to Pension Credit to ensure they receive what they deserve.”

He added: “It is clear that ensuring Pension Credit is delivered to those who need it is not only the right thing to do for those pensioners, but also the right thing to do for taxpayers and our NHS and care services.”