asked the Secretary of State for Social Services from how many women, in each of the past five years for which figures are available, invalidity pension has been withdrawn on these women becoming widows and entitled to widow's pension; what has been the annual saving on invalidity pension; and what has been the annual cost of widows' pensions in these cases over the same period.
asked the Secretary of State for Social Services how many women who were widowed in the last two years were receiving invalidity benefit earned on their own contributions and lost such benefit as a result of the over-lapping benefits rule; and what was the annual value of the lost benefits.
Figures showing the number of women who cease to receive invalidity pension on becoming widow beneficiaries are not available, but it is estimated that in 1978–79 there will be fewer than 400 such cases. The value of their contributory invalidity pensions—if paid for the full year—at current rates, would be somewhat less than £ ½million, while the value of their widow's benefits would be rather more than this amount. It would, of course, cost much more than this to duplicate benefits for all widows who might also qualify for an invalidity pension.