HC Deb 05 June 1998 vol 313 cc402-3W
Mrs. Ray Michie

To ask the Secretary of State for Social Security what plans she has to extend the widows pension to women aged under 45 years; what estimate she has made of the cost of that extension; and if she will make a statement. [41629]

Mr. Denham

Modernising the Social Security system is a key priority of the Government. In our examination of the current Social Security structure, we will take account of the needs and responsibilities of widows in pursuit of our aim of reducing poverty and welfare dependency, promoting work incentives and providing better, simpler and more efficient services to clients.

The estimated gross cost in 1998/99 of extending widows pension to women aged under 45 years would be £58 million.


It is assumed that widows under 45 would be paid at the current minimum rate for a widow aged 45.

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