§ Mr. Nicholas Winterton
To ask the Secretary of State for Defence if he will now revise his estimated cost of £200 million per annum for improving the pensions of pre-1973 war widows to take into account the numbers of deaths of such widows since the figure was first calculated.
§ Mr. Neubert
The figure of £200 million remains a broad estimate of the annual additional cost of paying attributable widows pensions, on the same basis and rates as for current awards, to all those war widows who do not qualify for the revised provisions which were introduced into the armed forces pension scheme in 1973. The net reduction in the number of widows who would be affected, since that estimate was first made, is offset by the increase which would have occurred under index-linking arrangements in the rates of pension which would have been payable.