Letter: Widows deprived
The Government's case is that it is equalising rights between widows and widowers. To do so, it is removing the right to a pension for widows and replacing it with a bereavement allowance, payable to both sexes for six months only. In the Lords I made no progress with a series of amendments to try to restore widows' pensions, but a number of us did succeed (against Government opposition) in increasing the period of the allowance from six months to two years.
The Government's policy represents a massive transfer of resources from women to men, but this has gone largely unremarked in the media. Yet the benefit being removed is a contributory one, based on the National Insurance contributions of the deceased spouse. There has been little discussion of the way in which the contributory principle is gradually being eroded and replaced by benefits dependent upon means-testing.
For some reason, this is regarded as "modernising". But means-tested benefits have a low take-up and are expensive to administer. Many claimants find the process humiliating. It is no way to treat the poor and vulnerable.
(Baroness Turner of Camden)
Swedish stars ask fans for £195 pledges on crowd-funding website
voicesJust when you thought you could find a man, get married, and have a baby by the age of 35... it turns out you’re too late, says Grace Dent
sportNapoli 2 Arsenal 0: Gunners must now face either Real Madrid, PSG, Bayern Munich, Atletico Madrid or Barcelona in knock-out stages
musicAs Mariah Carey and Noddy Holder rake in the royalties from their classics, why there hasn't been a decent festive hit for 20 years?
theatreAuthor Daniel Rosenthal recalls the mishaps that almost brought the curtain down on the likes of John Gielgud and Diana Rigg
filmFilm producers sue Warner Bros for $75m over Hobbit films
lifeAs the Royal Mail plans to phase out deliveries on two wheels, it's no wonder posties are in a spin
musicThe 21-year-old beat Ella Eyre and Chlöe Howl to win the honour
lifeFull of the joys and want to help your fellow man? December isn't the time to do it
techLuke Blackall reports on precision engineered prams and babygros that monitor your child 24-7
Arts & Ents blogs
- 1 Nelson Mandela memorial: ‘Bogus’ interpreter made mockery of Barack Obama’s tribute
- 2 It’s shameful that our universities have accepted gender segregation under pressure from the most oppressive religious fanatics
- 3 Kenyan politician Mike Sonko left red-faced after photoshopping himself next to Nelson Mandela
- 4 Exeter to Edinburgh and back in a day: How one fresher's lost bet left him facing a 900-mile round trip
- 5 Selfie at funeral: Cameron squeezes in on Obama snap at Mandela memorial
- < Previous
- Next >