I spoke recently in a debate about financial support for children who lose a parent. There have been significant cuts to this support and the new Widowed Parent’s Allowance leaves some families with children losing up to £12,000 a year under the new system, and working-age parents with children may lose up to £23,500 a year on average.
However, the devastation of losing a parent compounded in families where parents were not married. In that situation, children are effectively financially punished because their parents chose, for whatever reason, not to marry. The UK Government was taken to court over this issue last August and was found to be discriminating against those who had decided not to marry. Yet, still the Government has not acted to stop this discrimination.
This issue needs to be urgently addressed and the anomalies and injustice in the system need to be resolved. Surviving partners and their children are being penalised at the very worst of times. The needs of children must be at the heart of how grieving families are supported.