Thursday, 6 November 2008
My Statement of Opinion on cancer and its link to fuel poverty
On Monday, the Western Mail ran a survey, which revealed that two thirds of cancer patients struggle to pay their fuel bills and that they say it’s their biggest money worry.
The research also found that people living with cancer already suffer financial hardship, with 7 out of 10 people losing an average of 50% of their income.
Cancer patients spend longer periods of time at home to recuperate during treatment, they find it difficult to keep active and there is evidence to suggest they feel the cold more. All of this means they have to spend more on heating at a time when they have plenty of other worries.
This week, I raised a Statement of Opinion in the Assembly. Hopefully, this statement will attract widespread support in the Assembly and will result in some justice for cancer patients. Here is the text of the Statement:
The National Assembly for Wales notes:
• The additional heating needs of cancer patients.
• That cancer patients of working age lose on average 50% of their income and that 4 in 10 working age patients do not return to work after treatment.
The National Assembly for Wales will ensure:
• that cancer patients should be eligible for the HEES programme.
• That cancer patients are given information to avoid fuel poverty and maximise their revenue.
• That energy companies provide help for all vulnerable groups and that cancer patients are included within their social tariff schemes.