§ Mr. Durant
asked the Secretary of State for Social Services what is his estimate of the gross cost of extending widowed mothers' allowance to widowers on (a) the present contributory basis and (b) a non-contributory basis, and what would be the savings in other benefits, the extra cost of housing rebates, and the extra income from income tax.
§ Mr. Rossi
It is estimated that the gross cost of extending widowed mothers' allowance to widowers on a contributory basis would be about £100 million a year. This estimate has been made on the assumption that the benefit would depend on the man's own contribution record. The gross cost of such a benefit on a non-contributory basis would be about £110 million a year. On the assumption that most widowed fathers would work, the extra income from income tax would be over £30 million a year.
I regret that estimates of the savings in other benefits and of the extra cost of housing rebates are not available. I am writing to my hon. Friend to explain why they could be obtained only at disproportionate expense.