A father of two who was campaigning against the cuts to the Bereavement Benefits, dies less than one month after the changes take affect.
As reported in The Guardian, Alan (a pseudonym to protect his identity) who was terminally ill, spoke out about the “callous and brutal” cuts that would sever the financial support available to partners and children.
Under the old system, Alan’s family would have been entitled to £60,000 over ten years to support them after his death. Now, this is reduced to less than £10,000 over just 18 months.
Conservatives, in-particular Ros Altman (former Minister in the Department for Work and Pensions), have teamed up with other parties in an attempt to “persuade Ministers to think again”. They praised Alan and have vowed to continue fighting on behalf of all families in a similar situation: “It’s so sad. His family is going to be devastated and I wish there was something I could have done. I am certainly still trying and I know there is feeling across the House of Lords.”
Lady Altman raised the points that the recent statements from the Princes William and Harry, have highlighted the trauma losing a parent brings, and although the benefits system does need skimming, families in this situation need help and support.
Ministers have claimed that the new system has been designed around modern society, where women are more inclined to work and staying under the old system may stop widowed parents adapting to life.
Campaigners such as Georgia Elms, Chair of WAY Widowed and Young, disagree believing that although families were still suffering at 18 months (the new cut off point), the financial support allowed them to re-enter employment part time. It has also been called for help to be made available to parents who are living with their partner, but unmarried.
To see how the cuts may affect you and your family, read our Resource “Bereavement Changes Could Leave Widowed Parents With Less Support”.