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War Widows

Volume 115: debated on Wednesday 29 April 1987

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asked the Secretary of State for Social Services whether his Department has carried out a comparative survey of the pension and benefits paid to war widows by the countries which took part in the second world war.

Information obtained about the pensions and benefits paid to war widows in other countries has shown that it is extremely difficult to make any valid comparisons because different countries' schemes and benefits vary so substantially.

asked the Secretary of State for Social Services (1) how much pension is paid by his Department to the widow of a private soldier killed in the Falklands war;(2) how much pension is paid by his Department to the widow of a private soldier killed in the second world war.

Pensions paid to war widows under the war pension scheme are the same irrespective of the date of bereavement or the conflict in which the service man gave his life. Under the scheme, the widow of a private soldier receives a tax-free basic pension of £51·35 a week, plus an age allowance of £5·50 a week at age 65, rising to £11 at 70 and £13·85 at 80. Widows with dependent children also receive child allowances of £11·60 a week for each child, and may receive education and rent allowances. In addition, a war widow may also receive other benefits, such as a retirement pension if she has paid national insurance contributions.