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Widow's Pension

Part of Oral Answers to Questions — Pensions and National Insurance – in the House of Commons at 12:00 am on 29th June 1964.

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Photo of Hon. Richard Wood Hon. Richard Wood , Bridlington 12:00 am, 29th June 1964

I was aware of the resolution passed by the conference to which the hon. Member has drawn my attention. The reason which I gave on that occasion, and which it is perfectly suitable to give on this occasion also, is that the removal of the earnings rule, either for widows, or for widows and retirement pensioners also, would impose a substantial extra cost. That, however, is not the main consideration, which is that the substantial extra cost would not be devoted to helping the most needy among the widows whom the hon. Gentleman has in mind. That is precisely why the Government have opposed the principle of his Bill and introduced their Measure early this year to help widowed mothers, for whom great sympathy is felt on all sides of the House.