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Cole-Hamilton: Widowed parents shouldn’t lose out

March 6, 2017 10:00 AM
Originally published by Scottish Liberal Democrats

Scottish Liberal Democrat health spokesperson and Edinburgh Western MSP Alex Cole-Hamilton has today written to the Minister for Social Security, Jeane Freeman to request an urgent meeting to discuss changes to Widowed Parent's Allowance which will see some bereaved spouses miss out on as much as 17 years of financial support.

As a result of Conservative social security changes, newly widowed parents will soon receive the benefit for eighteen months only, rather than until dependents reach the age of 18.

Mr Cole-Hamilton said:

"I was recently contacted by a constituent who was sadly widowed in her 30s when her husband died unexpectedly. But under the new system that the Tories are set to introduce, going forward someone in her position would only benefit from eighteen months of support, rather than potentially 18 years.

"My colleague Alistair Carmichael has been pressing the UK government to reverse course on these callous cuts.

"However if we are unable to reverse these cuts at a UK level the Scottish Government should step in and examine how it could use its new social security powers so that vulnerable families do not lose out at a time of great trauma.

"I look forward to a response from the Minister and an opportunity to discuss how we might mitigate the considerable cuts to their income that these families will otherwise face."