Widows' Benefits

Petitions – in the House of Commons at 6:52 pm on 29th November 2006.

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Photo of Jim Cunningham Jim Cunningham PPS (Mr Mike O'Brien, Solicitor General), Law Officers' Department 6:52 pm, 29th November 2006

More than 7,000 people in Coventry and surrounding areas signed this petition. In their different ways, widows make a major contribution to their husbands' pension schemes.

The Petition of Coventry British Pensioners and Trade Union Association,

Declares that under a reform of widows' benefits, introduced in April 2001, a woman who is widowed under the age of 60 is now classed as a single woman and as such receives no pension, only bereavement benefit for one year. After this period she becomes a "jobseeker" receiving jobseekers allowance of £55-£65 per week. Any private pension her husband may have paid into is deducted from this amount. This new benefit system means that these "non widows" are living in poverty. These are the women that have brought up today's working generation. This system was introduced by a government...

The Petitioners therefore request the House of Commons to urge the Government to rectify this injustice.

And the Petitioners remain, etc.

To lie upon the Table.