HC Deb 14 March 1950 vol 472 c54W
100. Mr. N. Macpherson

asked the Minister of National Insurance whether she will reconsider the position of widows under retirement age, whose husbands, having been contributors under the old schemes, died before the inception of the present scheme and who now are only receiving 10s. a week, out of which they are expected to pay weekly insurance contributions.

Dr. Summerskill

These widows have already received certain concessions. Those who still had young children or were incapacitated, received benefit at the new scheme rates from 5th July, 1948: the others, the majority of whom are gainfully occupied, were allowed to retain their 10s. pension and, at the same time, to qualify for a full pension by contributing until the age of 60, however short the intervening period.

Mr. Hollis

asked the Minister of National Insurance whether, in view of the urgent need to increase production, she will suspend the regulation by which widows suffer a reduction of pensions benefits if they earn 30s. a week and lose all benefits if they earn 64s. a week.

Dr. Summerskill

I have no power to suspend the provisions in question. They are contained in the National Insurance Act, 1946, itself, and can only be altered by legislation.