14 March 2011
Responding to the Government’s announcement that they are appointing Professor John Hills to carry out an independent review of fuel poverty, Mike Hobday, Head of Policy at Macmillan Cancer Support, said:
‘We welcome the news that Professor John Hills has been appointed to carry out an independent review of the Government’s fuel poverty strategy.
‘A clear roadmap for tackling fuel poverty is desperately needed. The Government is expected to miss existing targets to eradicate fuel poverty in England by 2016 and there is far too little financial help currently available to help cancer patients pay their bills.
‘It is time to end the scandal of cancer patients being too petrified to put their heating on because they can’t afford rising fuel bills.
‘This independent review must look at what needs to be done to support vulnerable cancer patients, such as people with terminal cancer.’
For more information please contact:
Rebecca Openshaw | Media & PR Officer | Macmillan Cancer Support
Tel: 020 7840 4699
Out of hours: 07801 307068
Notes to editors:
• The Department of Energy and Climate Change announced today that there will be an independent review of the Govt’s fuel poverty strategy: http://www.decc.gov.uk/en/content/cms/news/pn11_044/pn11_044.aspx
• The review will be chaired by Professor John Hills who is Director of the Centre for Analysis of Social Exclusion and Professor of Social Policy at the London School of Economics.
• A call for evidence has also been published and closes on 6th June 2011.
• The Review will publish interim findings in autumn 2011 and provide a final report to Government no later than January 2012. The full terms of reference are:
1) To consider fuel poverty from first principles: to determine the nature of the issues at its core, including the extent to which fuel poverty is distinct from poverty more generally, and the detriment it causes.
2) As appropriate and subject to the findings under (1), to develop possible formulations for a future definition and any associated form of target, which would best contribute to addressing the underlying causes identified.
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
- 59% have used more fuel since their diagnosis