§ 5. Mr. Channon
asked the Minister of Pensions and National Insurance what would be the cost of raising by 20s. the limit which widowed mothers are entitled to earn before any deductions are made in their pension.
§ Mr. E. Johnson
asked the Minister of Pensions and National Insurance how many widowed mothers had deductions made from their widowed mother's allowance in 1960 and to the latest convenient date in 1961 through the operation of the earnings rule; and what would be the cost of abolishing this rule in the case of widowed mothers.
§ Mr. Frank Allaun
asked the Minister of Pensions and National Insurance how many widowed mothers are affected by the earnings rule; and what it would cost to relieve them of it.
§ Mrs. Thatcher
Statistics of the numbers of adjustments for earnings made in the course of a year are not kept as a matter of routine and are not available for 1960 or 1961, but the peliminary results of a special inquiry into the numbers of earnings adjustments current in92W June, 1961, show that about 20,000 widowed mothers were affected by the earnings rule in the week of the inquiry. It is estimated that the direct cost of abolishing the earnings rule for widowed mothers would be about £1½ million a year. This figure is based on the assumption that the present earnings rules would be applied to such a widow on becoming either a widow, or retirement, pensioner.