Below is the text of Mr Major’s written Parliamentary Answer on War Pensions on 20th May 1986.
Mr. Kirkwood Asked the Secretary of State for Social Services if he proposes to bring war pensions available to war widows in the period before 1973 into line with the levels of pension paid since that date; how much it would cost to increase all pre-1973 level pensions by £5 per week; how much it cost to pay war widows’ pensions for the last five years for which figures are available; and how many persons are in receipt of war pensions in the area served by the Galashiels ILO in the Scottish Borders.
Mr. Major Under the war pensions scheme, widows’ pensions are paid at the same rate regardless of the date of the service man’s death or of when he served. The precise number widowed before 1973 is not known, but the estimated cost of the increase suggested would be in the region of £16 million per year. The Department’s expenditure on war widows’ pensions was as follows:
Year | £ million
1980-81 | 146
1981-82 | 166
1982-83 | 174
1983-84 | 177
1984-85 | 184
The remaining information requested is not available and could be obtained only at disproportionate cost.