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Volume 446: debated on Tuesday 27 January 1948

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asked the Minister of National Insurance how his regulations under the new Act provide for a widow of 50 years, now drawing 10s. pension and in particular if she will have to pay insurance contributions in order to get the increased benefit at 60, not being an employed person.

Under the National Insurance (Transitional) Regulations which I have recently made, if such a widow has a child, or is incapacitated by some infirmity which is likely to be prolonged, she will, generally, be able to claim either a widowed mother's allowance of 33s. 6d. a week or a widow's pension of 26s. a week from next July. The position of other widows on reaching 60 will be dealt with in later regulations. I can say now that they will retain their existing pensions of 10s.; their entitlement to the full rate of retirement pension at 60 will be dependent on the payment of National Insurance contributions in their appropriate class from next July.

If neither of these conditions is fulfilled, can she get supplementation in any form?

It is our intention, subject to the will of Parliament, that the National Assistance Scheme shall begin to operate from July next.

Can my right hon. Friend say what will be the position of insured widows who at the present time are 50 years of age, and who are in receipt of a war pension?