§ 53. Mr. H. Hynd
asked the Minister of Pensions whether the pensions of widows of the 1914-18 war are being reviewed in the general consideration now taking place.
As I told the House on 9th April, the standard rate of pension of 35s. payable to widows of both world wars is to be increased to 42s. with effect from the first pay day in May, and comparable widows of officers will receive an increase of £18 a year.
I think the hon. Gentleman is referring to those widows who are in receipt of what is known as alternative pension. It is true that out of the 99,000 widows of the 1914-18 war about 22,000 are those widows. In general, the alternative rate is higher than the standard rate, but where the new standard rate is to the benefit of the pensioner because it is higher then the pensioner will be automatically switched from the alternative pension to the new rate.