Widows — 24 Jun 1999

I beg to move,

That this House welcomes the long-overdue extension of widow's benefits to widowers, and the doubling of Bereavement Payments; but notes that this costs only £100 million annually in the long term, compared with the £600 million cut the Government will make through the replacement of widows' pensions by a Bereavement Tax Allowance, the abolition of Dividend Tax Credits and the restriction of Council Tax Benefit on higher-value properties; regrets the Government's woefully inadequate response to next year's halving of widows' entitlement to additional pension; welcomes the fact that this is now under investigation by the Parliamentary Ombudsman; and calls on the Government to cease their attacks on the living standards of widows.

I beg to move, To leave out from "House" to the end of the Question, and to add instead thereof:

'supports the Government's proposals to reform bereavement benefits, including the Bereavement Payment, which will provide a tax-free lump sum of £2,000--double the value of the current Widow's Payment; welcomes the additional help given to the children of widowers, who will qualify for the new Widowed Parent's Allowance, which will replace the Widowed Mother's Allowance; welcomes the protection given to widows over 55, who might otherwise have no practical alternative to relying on Income Support; and welcomes the wide range of policies which are designed to assist women to play a full and active part in the community.'.

I also asked what the total cost would be. She replied:

"The additional cost to central Government of a full disregard . . . is estimated to be in the region of £70 million".--[ Official Report , 20 May 1999; Vol. 331, c. 429-30 .]

Question put, That the original words stand part of the Question:--

The House divided: Ayes 37, Noes 274.

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Party Summary

Votes by party, red entries are votes against the majority for that party.

What is Tell? '+1 tell' means that in addition one member of that party was a teller for that division lobby.

What are Boths? An MP can vote both aye and no in the same division. The boths page explains this.

What is Turnout? This is measured against the total membership of the party at the time of the vote.

PartyMajority (No)Minority (Aye)BothTurnout
Con0 100.6%
Independent0 1050.0%
Lab274 (+2 tell) 0066.3%
LDem0 30 (+2 tell)069.6%
UUP0 5050.0%
Total:274 37049.5%

Rebel Voters - sorted by party

MPs for which their vote in this division differed from the majority vote of their party. You can see all votes in this division, or every eligible MP who could have voted in this division

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no rebellions

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