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

It is not a question of whether the MoD chooses to break the law, which it would never wish to do; it is a question of established government policy. The noble Lord has been a Minister in government and I think he will understand why that policy exists. That is why the MoD cannot act unilaterally on this. It has been investigating a range of options. I have discussed this matter personally with the Secretary of State, the Chief of the Defence Staff and the Permanent Secretary to try to find a way round the obstacles. That means exploring a range of options, including hardship payments and ex gratia and statutory schemes. That is what we are currently engaged in doing, but these are complex, challenging issues and they have to be dealt with carefully.