§ Mr. Cronin
asked the Secretary of State for Social Services if he will indicate the amounts and circumstances under which war pensions are payable to the widows and orphans of soldiers killed in Northern Ireland.
§ Mr. Dean
War pensions are payable to widows of soldiers whose death is due to service whether in Northern Ireland or elsewhere. Where children of these deceased soldiers are, or become, motherless, orphans' pensions are awarded. They are payable in addition to any allowances under the Family Allowances Act.
The rates of war widows' pensions vary according to the widow's age, her late husband's rank, the number of children, and her entitlement to rent and education allowances. The standard basic pension rates for a private's widow (unless she is under 40, childless, and able to support herself), is £8.80 a week, increasing to £10.10 in October.
The standard rates of orphans' pensions are:
Current weekly rate £ From 1st Oct £ Under 15 Eldest child and any other children with no family allowances 3.50 4.00 Over15 5.00 5.50 Under 15 Other children with family allowances 3.00 3.50 Over 15 4.50 5.00
An orphan's pension normally ceases at age 16 but continues if the child is receiving full-time education or is an apprentice. It also continues if the child is infirm and unable to earn a living. In this case it is further increased to a maximum of £6.75 at age 18 (£7.75 from 1st October).