The BBC’s top-paid star Gary Lineker could cover the cost of the telly licences for every citizen in Dumfries and Galloway over the age of 75 from his annual fee - and STILL have £314,000 left over!
Your Gazette made this calculation in the wake of the latest condemnation of our most elderly citizens having to pay the BBC licence fee after years of receiving it free. While the total licence bill for the region’s 75 and over population would be £1,386,00, Gary Lineker’s annual BBC pay amounts to £1,750,000.
Meanwhile, there are allegations of another financial blow to our older citizens with a leading charity this week claiming pensioners across Dumfries and Galloway are missing out on more than £11 million in unclaimed pension credit.
Independent Age estimate that £11.286 million in credit is going unclaimed in Dumfries and Galloway “amid the UK Conservative Government doing virtually nothing to ensure pensioners get the help that they need.”
Pension Credit is an income-related benefit which tops up a pensioner’s weekly income if its below £167.25 for a single person or £255.25 for a couple.
The charity alleges: “Across Scotland more than £300million is going unclaimed by 123,000 households.”
Commenting on the figures, South Scotland Labour MSP Colin Smyth said, “Under the previous Labour Government pensioner poverty was cut but it is now on the rise again. It is shocking that across Dumfries and Galloway our poorest pensioners are missing out on more than £11 million in vital support.
“The UK Government’s idea for encouraging people to apply for Pension Credit – an ‘online toolkit’ – would be laughable if this wasn’t so serious. The Tory Government must right this wrong immediately and do more to increase take-up of Pension Credit.”