§ Mr. McCrindle
asked the Secretary of State for Social Services what would be the cost or providing an additional £10 pension per week for war widows who were widowed before 1974; and if he will make a statement.
§ Mr. Lyell
It is estimated that the cost would be in the region of £30 million a year.
War widows pensions are the same irrespective of the date of widowhood or the conflict in which the service man was injured or gave his life.
The basic war widows pension will be increased to £51.35 a week from 6 April. That is about 30 per cent. higher than national insurance widows pension. In addition, age allowances are paid. They are also being increased from 6 April, to £5.50 a week at age 65, £11 at 70 and £13.85 at 80. The pensions are tax free. War widows 660W may also receive other benefits, such as a retirement pension if they have paid national insurance contributions, and housing benefit.