Widows (Unemployment Benefit)

Oral Answers to Questions — National Insurance – in the House of Commons at 12:00 am on 7th July 1952.

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Photo of Mr Charles Hale Mr Charles Hale , Oldham West 12:00 am, 7th July 1952

asked the Minister of National Insurance whether he is aware of the hardship that is being caused by the fact that widows' pensions are taken into account in computing unemployment benefit; and what steps he proposes to take to deal with this.

Photo of Mr Osbert Peake Mr Osbert Peake , Leeds North

Under the rules made in 1948 a widow who is unemployed will receive at least as much as other unemployed people from the Insurance Fund. I see no reason for thinking that this gives rise to hardship or for altering the rules.

Photo of Mr Charles Hale Mr Charles Hale , Oldham West

Is the right hon. Gentleman aware that this obviously causes real hardship, particularly in cases where widows have brought up a family and have to go out to work in much more difficult conditions? Would he reconsider this matter and rather take the view that though this was done in 1948 we were big enough to reconsider things when their working caused people hardship? Would he treat the whole matter on these lines?

Photo of Mr Osbert Peake Mr Osbert Peake , Leeds North

This has been the adopted practice for many years. Pensionable widows are, of course, given the option whether or not to continue their contributions to the Insurance Fund.