24 March 2011
Responding to press reports that the Government is cutting the Winter Fuel Payment paid to over 60s, Mike Hobday, Head of Policy at Macmillan Cancer Support, said:
‘It is plainly wrong for the Government to withdraw much needed money from vulnerable cancer patients who are already struggling to meet the cost of ever-rising energy bills.
‘Feeling too petrified to put the heating on because of money worries is an unacceptable reality for far too many cancer patients who feel the cold more because of their condition and are at home for longer during treatment and recovery. Finding out that the financial support they receive will be cut will create further unnecessary worry and concern.”
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For further information, please contact:
Rebecca Openshaw, Media & PR Officer, Macmillan Cancer Support
020 7840 4699 (out of hours 07801 307068)
Notes to Editors:
How people living with cancer are affected by fuel poverty
Cancer patients have high fuel bills because they are likely to feel the cold more and spend more time at home during treatment or recovery. This increase in bills comes at a time when their household income has usually dropped because they are not working.
Macmillan Cancer Support/RS Consulting (2010), Fuel poverty and cancer: survey of people with cancer found:
Certain groups of cancer patients are particularly vulnerable to fuel poverty. These include those undergoing treatment (25%) and those on certain benefit, such as, housing benefit (47%) and council tax benefit (46%). The research also highlighted that 27% of cancer patients on disability living allowance and 40% with an annual household income of under £20k are in fuel poverty
1 in 4 people with cancer undergoing treatment are fuel poor
Macmillan’s online survey of 974 people with cancer in the UK (2009) found:
7% of those in fuel poverty are on a social tariff
Seven in ten people under 55 experience a reduced income losing on average 50% (Macmillan Cancer Support
59% have used more fuel since their diagnosis
About Macmillan Cancer Support
Macmillan Cancer Support improves the lives of people affected by cancer, providing practical, medical, emotional and financial support. Working alongside people affected by cancer, Macmillan works to improve cancer care. One in three of us will get cancer. Two million of us are living with it. If you are affected by cancer Macmillan can help.
Questions about living with cancer? Call the Macmillan Support Line free on 0808 808 00 00, or visit macmillan.org.uk