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Widows

Volume 894: debated on Monday 23 June 1975

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asked the Secretary of State for Social Services what the net cost would be, respectively, over and above planned expenditure in November and taking into account savings on supplementary benefit and extra income tax yield, of (i) increasing the widow's allowance payable from November by £4·80 and abolishing the earnings related widow's supplementary allowance, (ii) increasing the widowed mother's allowance payable from November by £3·40, and (iii) abolishing the contribution test for widowed mother's allowance.

pursuant to his reply [Official Report, 16th June 1975; Vol. 893, c. 372–3], circulated the following information:

  • (i) The extra cost in the flat-rate widow's allowance would be roughly balanced by the saving from the abolition of the earnings-related addition to that allowance.
  • (ii) About £20 million a year in social security benefits. The extra tax yield would be about £5 million.
  • (iii) No estimate is available.
  • asked the Secretary of State for Social Services what the net cost would be, over and above planned expenditure in November and taking into account savings on supplementary benefit and extra income tax yield, of (i) increasing the widow's pension by £3·40, (ii) paying a widow's allowance of £16·70 for the first 26 weeks of widowhood to those who do not satisfy the contribution test for widow's allowance, and (iii) increasing the children's rates for widow's allowance and widowed mother's allowance payable in November to £4·35 for a child aged under 11 years, £5·35 for a child aged 11 to 15 years, £6·35 for a child aged 16 to 17 years and £7·35 for a child aged 18 years.

    pursuant to his reply [Official Report, 16th June 1975; Vol. 893, c. 372–3], circulated the following information:

  • (i) Nearly £60 million a year in social security benefits. The extra tax yield would be nearly £20 million.
  • (ii) No estimate is available.
  • (iii) To pay the rates set out in the Question would not increase costs since, for nearly all first or only children and for most second and later children in widows' families, they are lower than the rates due to come into force in November.