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Benefits

House of Lords written question – answered on 12th December 2013.

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Photo of Lord Oakeshott of Seagrove Bay Lord Oakeshott of Seagrove Bay Liberal Democrat

To ask Her Majesty’s Government how many people under state pension age with one or more children have received the Widowed Parent’s Allowance (WPA) in each of the last five years for which figures are available; and what have been the total payments made to WPA recipients in each of those years.

To ask Her Majesty’s Government what, for each of the next thirty years, is the estimated net cost or saving to the taxpayer from the changes in Widowed Parent’s Allowance proposed in the Pensions Bill.

Photo of Lord Freud Lord Freud The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Work and Pensions

The table below sets out the number in receipt of Widowed Parent’s Allowance in May 2009 to May 2013.

WPA caseload (thousands)
May 2009 May 2010 May 2011 May 2012 May 2013
43.21 44.54 45.09 45.78 46.13

DWP’s Tabulation Tool:

http://tabulation-tool.dwp.gov.uk/100pc/bb/ccdate/cat/a_carate_r_ccdate_c_cat.html.

The table below sets out the total annual expenditure on Widowed Parent’s Allowance in financial years 2008-09 to 2012-13:

Annual WPA expenditure (£m)
2008-09 2009-10 2010-11 2011-12 2012-13
£174m £197m £200m £205m £227m

DWP’s Benefit Expenditure Tables: https://www.gov.uk/ government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/222845/expenditure_tables_Budget_2013.xls.

Projections of the Bereavement Benefit reform over 30 years are not available. However it is estimated that the reform of Widowed Parent’s Allowance will increase benefit spend for widowed parents by some £50m in nominal terms over the period 2016-17 to 2019-20.

This estimate excludes the impact of the more generous tax arrangements in the new system.

Bereavement Benefits reform analysis:

https://www.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/253613/d-pensions-bill-bereavement-benefits-ia-oct-2013.pdf; and

https://www.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/208850/130626-ad-hoc-bereavement-benefits.pdf

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