Angela calls for bereavement benefit changes to be reconsidered

Angela Crawley MP for Lanark and Hamilton East has called for the UK Government to reconsider changes to bereavement benefits that will see incomes of grieving families slashed.

Government changes mean that from 6 April, bereaved parents will only receive payments for 18 months, at a reduced rate.

The payment is based on the deceased spouse’s national insurance contributions.

According to the charity the Childhood Bereavement Network, the cuts will save the Government £100 million a year, and will leave parents with children anything from £6,000 to £12,000 a year worse off.

In a letter to Damian Green, the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, Ms Crawley highlighted the effect of changes on grieving families.

Ms Crawley said: “This is an unfair decision that hurts grieving families, and will force many parents to increase their working hours to cope.

“It is a particularly galling policy as the money for bereavement benefits comes from the deceased partner’s National Insurance contributions, which they will never be able to claim for themselves in the form of a pension.

“I have written to the Department for Work and Pensions to ask that the changes are reconsidered, and the needs of grieving families are put ahead of austerity measures.”