LETTER: Vital financial support for cancer sufferers

Families in Yorkshire have comparatively high levels of disposable income, according to Scottish Friendly.
Families in Yorkshire have comparatively high levels of disposable income, according to Scottish Friendly.
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Macmillan Cancer Support is urging all MPs in Derbyshire to uphold the Lords’ amendments to the Welfare Reform and Work Bill, as this will ensure that people with cancer and other long-term illnesses, who are too ill to work but capable of work in the future, do not see their benefits reduced by £30 a week.

Current figures show that if MPs don’t uphold these amendments, at least 9,290 people in Derbyshire alone could be left without vital financial support.

Macmillan is also worried that some MPs might reject the Lords amendments without realising that doing so will push some people with cancer over the edge financially. Our survey shows that more than half of Conservative MPs (54 per cent) do not know that the Government’s proposed changes will affect people who have had cancer.

Just over a third of all MPs (38 per cent) are unaware of this impact.

Macmillan knows the financial burden that many people with cancer face.

The charity found that four in five (83 per cent) people with cancer are on average £570 a month worse off as a result of their diagnosis.

This is because of loss of income and extra medical costs, such as transport to hospital appointments, as well as spiralling household bills as cancer treatment causes people to feel the cold more when they’re likely to be spending more time at home.

As the Bill moves to its final stages, we hope MPs in Derbyshire recognise the impact that any cuts to benefits will have on the physical and mental wellbeing of people in their constituencies with long-term illnesses and uphold the lord’s amendments.

Readers can get involved in this campaign by emailing their MP on http://bit.ly/1SlmRS0

Elaine Wilson

Senior Macmillan Development Manager, East Midlands