Pensions restored to remarried war widows

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Indy Politics

The government retreated last night when it said war widows' pensions would be restored to women who remarry.

The government retreated last night when it said war widows' pensions would be restored to women who remarry.

Alistair Darling, Social Security Secretary, and Geoff Hoon, Defence Secretary, said the rules would be changed in autumn after publication of a review on the issue. Mr Darling said: "Members of the armed forces are in a unique position. It is only right we should look after their wives and husbands in a way that the country would expect.

"The Government has decided widows and widowers of armed-forces personnel whose deaths are a direct result of the services are to be awarded pensions for life."

The decision will thwart the Tories, because they had pledged to end the discrimination. And it will please Labour backbenchers and campaigners angered that the Government had not done enough for pensioners. MPs have been impatient for the change because it would affect only 2,500 women, at a cost of £40m a year.

Although it was the Tories who scrapped pensions for war widows who remarried, backbenchers have argued that the Government's review has taken too long.

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