Letter: Widows' pensions are not 'benefits'

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The Independent Online
I WAS ALARMED to read the report "Labour to scrap benefit for widows" (11 October).

I was widowed two years ago aged 48 and the widow's pension (not benefit) I receive is based on my late husband's NI contributions. No insurance company would dare to announce suddenly that it was not going to pay pensions to its customers. What this government is planning is to renege on the contract made with taxpayers and those who paid NI contributions, naively believing that they would pay for their families should anything happen to them.

Like many women of my age I was brought up to marry and raise a family. We were not expected to be breadwinners and therefore do not have the work experience and earning capacity that women born in a later era will have.


Rainham, Kent