War Widows Pensions - Question

Part of the debate – in the House of Lords at 12:16 pm on 10th December 2020.

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Photo of Baroness Goldie Baroness Goldie Lord in Waiting (HM Household) (Whip), The Minister of State, Ministry of Defence 12:16 pm, 10th December 2020

I thank the noble Baroness for her question. I pay tribute to her commitment and passion on this issue and I understand her frustration. It might help her if I explain the nature of the complexity. Quite simply, it has been the policy of successive Governments not to make retrospective payments by government to individuals. That has been an established position and I think that many Members of your Lordships’ Chamber who have been Ministers will understand that. It means that, although I, the Secretary of State and the Permanent Secretary at the Ministry of Defence and the Chief of the Defence Staff all personally want to try to find a solution to this, we are not able to act unilaterally. We are investigating a number of options, but as yet none of these has been confirmed as avoiding the challenges to which I have referred.