25/02/2011

Put the Fair into Welfare


I support Macmillan Cancer Support's campaign 'Put the Fair into Welfare.' I've admired the work of the Macmillan Cancer Support in securing that appropriate levels of benefit support for cancer patients. Macmillan Cancer Support are concerned about the proposals in the Conservative-led Government's Welfare Reform Bill which they believe may penalise people with cancer at a time when they most require support.

I have many concerns about the Conservative-led Government's proposals for welfare reform. I was surprised to find out from Macmillan Cancer Support that they have concerns about the impact on cancer patients in particular. The financial impact of a cancer diagnosis can be devastating and sudden. As well as facing extra costs as a result of their cancer treatment some people have to leave work. As many as 91% of cancer patients' households suffer loss of income and/or increased costs as a direct result of their cancer.

Some people with cancer will lose critical financial support after only one year. This isn’t long enough. People with cancer getting the same drug, but administered in different ways, are being treated differently in the benefits system. This is unfair. People with cancer will have to wait six months before they can apply for the new Disability Living Allowance. It should be available straight away. It is important that people who are ill are not given extra burdens at what is without doubt a very difficult time.

I am happy to support Macmillan Cancer Support's campaign and I hope that MPs will support this important campaign.