§ 40. Mr. HALL-CAINE
asked the Minister of Health whether he will arrange to collect information showing the number of widows who lose pensions owing to their husbands being short of four or fewer stamps in the required total of 104, with the object of enabling him to say whether legislation can be usefully introduced to help these women?
§ Mr. SHAKESPEARE
The requirement of the payment of a minimum number of contributions is an essential feature of all schemes of national insurance, and, whatever number is fixed as the minimum, cases are bound to 'arise in which the number of contributions just falls short of the requirement. My hon. Friend no doubt appreciates that the pensions scheme in question confers a right to a pension for life on the widow, with allowances for children, in return for 104 contributions, which represent less than eight weeks' pension at the minimum rate.