HC Deb 27 February 2001 vol 363 cc642-4W
Mr. Drew

To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer if he will make a statement on his policy towards the taxation of, and benefits available to, widows and widowers. [150856]

Dawn Primarolo

From 9 April 2001, the Government are introducing a new system of bereavement benefits which for the first time will be available to men as well as women. The new benefits are a lump-sum bereavement payment, bereavement allowance and a widowed parents allowance. Bereavement benefits are payable so long as the deceased spouse has paid enough National Insurance contributions and other conditions are met. Women currently receiving widows' benefits will not be affected by these changes.

Bereavement allowance and widowed parents allowance will be taxable as are the current widows' benefits. The Bereavement Payment is not taxable. Widows and widowers who have children can also be eligible for the Children's Tax Credit and the Working Families Tax Credit.