HC Deb 17 March 1952 vol 497 cc1897-8
3. Mr. Eric Johnson

asked the Minister of National Insurance if he will take steps to correct the anomaly under which a widow of 59 years of age who becomes ill and unfit for work receives sick pay at the rate of 26s. a week but on attaining the age of 60 years and on being transferred to the contributory old age pensions scheme has the amount of her 10s. pension, when at work, deducted from the 26s. she receives when unable to work through illness.

Mr. Peake

I am aware that certain widows who had rights under the earlier pensions schemes have been put in a privileged position by the preservation of those rights, but the group affected is steadily diminishing, and I do not think I need take any further steps in regard to them.

Mr. Johnson

Is my right hon. Friend aware that there is still a considerable number of these widows and that this practice is a very real injustice which is causing a great deal of discontent? Will he reconsider the matter?

Mr. Peake

It is one of the basic principles of the Beveridge scheme that insurance benefits are alternative and not cumulative. During the transitional period these widows were given a specially privileged position in that they were enabled, whilst under 60 years of age, to obtain two different kinds of benefit from the Fund.

Forward to