§ Mr. Atkinson
To ask the Secretary of State for Defence how much it would cost to standardise at the current levels the pensions payable to widows under the war pension scheme and to beneficiaries of the armed forces pension scheme.
§ Mr. Freeman
Differences between the total pensions received by war widows whose husbands were killed before April 1973, and subsequently arise mainly from the introduction at that date of improvements to the armed forces occupational pension scheme. Those improvements did not apply retrospectively. It has been estimated that to bring all war widows up to current levels of award would involve additional expenditure in the region of £200 million a year.