17 December 2010
With energy prices rising and freezing temperatures across the UK, leading cancer charity, Macmillan Cancer Support is calling on the Government to help vulnerable cancer patients with their high heating bills. Mike Hobday, Head of Policy at Macmillan Cancer Support, said:
'Thousands of people with cancer are really struggling to keep warm right now due to these freezing temperatures and rising energy prices.
'Cancer patients feel the cold more because of their condition and are forced to spend more time at home, leading to a rise in fuel bills just when their household income has dropped by up to half. To feel too scared to put the heating on because of rising fuel bills is an unacceptable reality for many cancer patients.
'Only 7% of cancer patients in fuel poverty currently benefit from one of the energy companies social tariffs. How many more must suffer for this issue to be addressed? We want the Government to ensure that vulnerable cancer patients, such as people who are terminally ill are given extra help via the new Warm Home Discount.'
For further information, please contact:
Julie Wills, Assistant Press Officer, Macmillan Cancer Support
020 7840 4933
Notes to Editors:
Social tariffs are cheaper deals that energy suppliers provide for certain groups of their most vulnerable customers. Social tariffs are currently provided under a voluntary agreement between energy suppliers and the Government.
The Warm Home Discount, confirmed as part of the recent Spending Review, will require energy companies to give a discount on energy bills to some their most vulnerable customers. The scheme will replace the existing voluntary agreement when it comes to an end in March 2011. The Government are currently consulting on the structure and eligibility criteria of the scheme.
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.