HC Deb 27 May 1968 vol 765 cc1205-6
13. Captain W. Elliot

asked the Minister of Social Security what plans she now has for abolishing National Insurance contributions by widows; and if she will make a statement.

Mr. Pentland

The great majority of widows under pension age receive widow's or other benefits and are excepted from the obligation to pay contributions; the contributions paid by the remainder, who are for the most part in work, maintain their insurance rights under the scheme. I would remind the hon. and gallant Member that this Government have already made substantial improvements in the provision for widows, but my right hon. Friend cannot forecast what further measures may be proposed.

Capt. Elliot

Can I take that answer to mean that further measures are contemplated? Will the Minister also consider the position of widows whose husbands die when the widows are within three or four weeks, or even three or four days, of their fiftieth birthday?

Mr. Pentland

Yes, Sir, we are studying these matters very carefully. The hon. Gentleman is concerned about the 50 age limit, and we are giving full consideration to this.