24 March 2010
Responding to the announcement within the Budget that pensioners will continue to receive the higher Winter Fuel Payment for the next two years, Mike Hobday, Head of Campaigns said:
“After the coldest winter for over three decades we are pleased the Government is guaranteeing the higher Winter Fuel Payment for the next two years. However, it is utterly absurd that cancer patients under 60, who are just as vulnerable, receive no help to pay their fuel bills from the Government.
“Paying fuel bills is one of the biggest worries for many cancer patients. In fact, one in five people undergoing treatment are currently living in fuel poverty (1) and that’s why the Government must extend the winter fuel payment to cancer patients in need and the terminally ill.” (2)
For further information, please contact:
Helen Champion, Macmillan Cancer Support Press Office, Tel: 020 7840 4689 (out of hours 07801 307068)
Notes to Editors:
Why cancer patients struggle with fuel bills
People tell Macmillan they feel colder due to the effects of cancer treatment, they turn the heating up and then receive higher fuel bills, often when their household income has dropped because they cannot work.
9.6% of the general (non vulnerable) population are in fuel poverty, Department of Energy and Climate Change fuel poverty statistics, 2009. 20% of cancer patients in active treatment are in fuel poverty, Macmillan Cancer Support Online survey of 974 people with cancer, May 2009
Macmillan defines cancer patients in need as those undergoing treatment in the past year, who are terminally ill, or in receipt of Council Tax Benefit or Housing Benefit