HC Deb 30 January 2002 vol 379 c409W
Mr. Pickthall

To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions what plans he has to introduce widowers' pensions. [30577]

Malcolm Wicks

Our reforms to bereavement benefits introduced in April 2001 concentrate the help available where and when it is needed most—on immediate needs and on families with children. For the first time these benefits are available equally to both men and women.

Immediate help with costs arising on bereavement is provided by a lump sum bereavement payment of £2,000—double the old widow's payment of £1,000.There is a weekly benefit for widowed parents who satisfy the qualifying conditions. A bereavement allowance is also available for 12 months, to give widows and widowers aged 45 or over without dependants time to adjust to their new circumstances.

We keep all our policies under review but we have no plans to introduce a bereavement pension for either widows or widowers.