Benefits worth more than £13 billion are going unclaimed every year, including almost half of jobless people missing out on the dole.
The vast amount in unpaid income support, Jobseeker’s Allowance, housing benefit and pension credit is more than the entire sum George Osborne is trying to cut from the welfare budget.
Charities said it was ‘shameful’ that pensioners were missing out on £13 billion in help meant for the ‘poorest and most vulnerable’.
Employment minister Priti Patel laid out the full extent of benefits which were not paid out over the course of the year.
Up to 45 per cent of the unemployed who could receive Jobseeker's Allowance – equivalent to 820,000 people – did not receive it, worth up to £2.62 billion.
Up to 650,000 people entitled to Income Support or Employment and Support Allowance (ESA) - up to 23 per cent of the total.
The value of unpaid cases is estimated at between £2.43 billion and £3.25 billion.
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The country’s first foodbank taskforce has convened and aims to eradicate hunger in Scotland.
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