Below is the text of the Written Parliamentary Answer on War Pensioners and Widows from 14 July 1986.
Mr. Kirkwood asked the Secretary of State for Social Services whether he has any plans to relax conditions to enable regular visitations of severely disabled war pensioners and elderly widows to increase.
Mr. Major Arrangements for regular visiting by the war pensioners’ welfare service are at present being reviewed, in consultation with representatives of war pensioners and war widows. The central advisory committee on war pensions will be consulted before any changes are made. Any war pensioner or war widow who needs help may contact the war pensioners’ welfare service at any time.
Mr. Kirkwood asked the Secretary of State for Social Services what would be the cost of increasing the £4 disregard applied to war pensioners who claim supplementary pension to the level of £15.
Mr. Major The available data are not sufficiently accurate to enable a precise figure to be quoted, but the best estimte that can be made is that the cost of increasing the £4 war pensions disregard to £15 would be of the order of £4 million a year. This figure takes acount of the additional claims to supplementary benefit that would result from such a change, but does not allow for the cost of making an equivalent change to the housing benefit scheme.
Mr. Kirkwood asked the Secretary of State for Social Services whether he has any plans to increase the rate of pension to war widows and women aged 60 years and under in receipt of unemployability supplement or invalidity benefit; if he will estimate the cost of such a change; and if he will make a statement.
Mr. Major The rates will be increased on 28 July in line with price increases. The cost of the increase in war widows pensions is £2 million in a full year. The cost of the increase in invalidity benefit and unemployability supplement for women aged 60 and under is £3.5 million in a full year.