§ Mr. Wigley
asked the Secretary of State for Social Services if she will take steps to ensure that those widowed before reaching the age of 50 years receive full pension.
§ Mr. O'Malley
No. In accordance with the principle contained in the Beveridge Report widows' benefits have regard to the likelihood of the widow being able to re-enter the employment field. For this reason a widow who was under 40 when widowed or when widowed mother's allowance ceased does not receive a widow's pension; and a widow who was between 40 and 50 at that time receives a pension on a sliding scale related to her age.