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Minister announces War Widowers' Pension

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Mews ReleaseBen H um phreys m in is t e r for veterans' affairsFor immediate release, 22 January 1991 3/91Minister announces War Widowers’ PensionEligibility for repatriation benefits is to be extended to the spouses of servicewomen in the Persian Gulf and entitled female veterans of earlier conflicts, the Minister for Veterans’ Affairs,Ben Humphreys, announced today. The necessary amending legislation will be introduced in the Autumn Sittings. :"The main effect of this decision is the provision of a war widowers’ pension on an equal basis with widows of servicemen and veterans," Mr Humphreys said."Widowers of eligible servicewomen also will be entitled to apply for Defence Service Home loans and insurance, and will be eligible to apply for service pensions."The Minister said the decision was consistent with the Government's moves to eliminate discrimination."The assignment of WRANs to the Gulf has focussed attention on conditions for servicewomen and the Government is determined to ensure that they enjoy the same benefits as their male counterparts," said Mr Humphreys."At the same time, the Government recognises that for a number of reasons, entitled servicewomen of previous wars and conflicts did not have access to the same benefits as applied to servicemen."We are therefore taking this opportunity to correct the situation for these women. Amendments to the Veterans' Entitlements Act and Defence Service Homes Act will extend the benefits to them."Mr Humphreys said he expected that the decision would be welcomed by all ex-service organisations.Media contact: Annette Holden (06) 289 6152 (w)(06)251 2177(h)Departm ental inquiries: Meleta James (06) 289 6457 (w)» kUKUW‘■M**··***··*® "commonwealthp a r l ia m e n t a r y l ib r a r yM ICAH