HC Deb 11 July 1994 vol 246 c397W
Mr. Harry Greenway

To ask the Secretary of State for Social Security if he will make it his policy, where lesbian couples are awarded parental rights over a child, that they do not receive more benefits than a heterosexual couple; and if he will make a statement.

Mr. Burt

The law contains no recognition of the possibility of a contract of marriage between people of the same sex. Social security legislation reflects this.

In the income-related benefits only an unmarried man and woman living together as husband and wife can be treated in the same way as a married couple—that is, as a single unit.

In the contributory benefits, adult dependency increases are paid in prescribed circumstances, which can include the situation where an adult dependant is caring for a child for whom the claimant is entitled, or treated as entitled, to child benefit. In this situation no reference is made to the sex of the claimant or the adult dependant.