HC Deb 25 July 1935 vol 304 cc1991-2
17. Mr. MABANE

asked the Minister of Health whether he is aware that the provisions of the Acts under which widows' pensions are granted create many serious anomalies and much discontent; and whether he will introduce an amending Bill to avoid these anomalies?


The answer to the first part of the question is in the negative and the second part does not, therefore, arise. If, however, my hon. Friend brings to my notice the types of cases which he has in mind, I will give them careful consideration.


Is my right hon. Friend not aware that the regulations create grave anomalies, in that widows of one class do not receive pensions, whereas widows in apparently the same circumstances do receive pensions; and is he aware that no amending legislation would give such widespread satisfaction as legislation that would regularise the conditions under which pensions are granted?

21. Mr. GROVES

asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer whether, inasmuch as under the contributory pensions scheme a widow of a presumed would-be insured person becomes entitled to a pension under the regulations if she has attained the age of 55 years, he will introduce legislation to ensure that wives of ordinarily insured men, who themselves having attained the age of 65 thereby become entitled to the pension, shall thereby give the necessary qualification to their wives at the attainment of 55 years, not as at present 65?

The CHANCELLOR of the EXCHEQUER (Mr. Chamberlain)

The concession referred to by the hon. Member is in the main only applicable to the widows of men of the insurable class who died before 1926. The conditions are quite different in the case of wives of men insured in the ordinary way and I see no reason for extending the concession to them.


Is the right hon. Gentleman aware of the modern tendency—rightly so—of retiring men at the age of 60 instead of 65, and that that means five years' comparative hardship upon the men themselves, and that, if a man happens to be some years younger than his wife, it means that the wife has some years to go before she is entitled to a pension? Will the right hon. Gentleman consider the matter from that point of view?

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