19 OCTOBER 1929, Page 2

Widows' Pensions On Wednesday the Bill providing for the extension

of widows' pensions was issued. Pensions are proposed for widows between fifty-five and seventy whose husbands did not qualify them. Old age pensions are to be paid to all widows at seventy without restrictions, Widows under fifty-five with children up to the age of sixteen, instead of fourteen and a half, are also to receive pensions. All this is a smaller expansion of the Unionist Act of 1925 than the Labour Party spoke of at the General Election, but it will require an increase of the State contribution to the Pensions Fund from the present £4,000,000 to £9,000,000 next year, and to £21,000,000 in 1942. It will be noted that no increase is proposed in the scale of pensions, but that there is a departure from the original principle of the Pensions scheme in pensioning " pre-Act widows." The Government are said to be reviewing the whole situation, and in the meantime Mr. Snowden is no doubt keeping as tight a hold on the purse strings as he thinks is compatible with the more obvious of the Government's promises.

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