§ Mr. Hunter
asked the Secretary of State for Social Services for what reasons he is reducing, from 22 November, the weekly allowance for the child of a widowed mother from £7.95 to £7.60; what account he took of the social consequences before making this reduction; and if he will make a statement.
§ Mr. Newton
The formula for setting new rates of child dependency additions to national insurance benefits must 339W have regard to any rise in the level of child benefit. This year we have been able to provide a substantial increase in child benefit, which helps all families with children, and a consequence is that there is a reduction in the level of dependency benefit. Overall child support for widowed mothers has, however, gone up from this week.