To ask the Secretary of State for Social Services if he has any plans to introduce a widowed father's allowance in line with that of the widowed mother's allowance; and if he will make a statement.
We have no plans to introduce a widowed father's allowance. Benefit is paid to widowed mothers because they have frequently been financially dependent on the deceased husband and would find difficulty in maintaining themselves and their children on widowhood. The same difficulties are not normally present for widowed
I regret that the requested information is not available. The information which is available is set out in the table.fathers. The cost of introducing such an allowance would be about £35 million if based on the deceased wife's contributions; most of this would go to men already in full-time work. However, from 1989 a guaranteed minimum pension will be payable to widowed fathers whose wives were in contracted-out occupational pension schemes.