Andrew Gwynne, MP for Denton and Reddish, recently met with Macmillan Cancer Support to discuss their new report on the financial impact of cancer entitled ‘Cancer – A Costly Diagnosis?’
The report focusses on people’s individual experiences of the financial impact of cancer and highlights three particular policy areas; the implementation of Universal Credit, the support banks and building societies give people living with cancer and the cost of travel insurance.
To help with the financial impact of cancer Macmillan are asking the Government to introduce the legal requirement of a duty of care to ensure all financial services providers act in the best interests of their customers. The Treasury Select Committee have backed these calls in their recent report looking the support our financial institutions are giving vulnerable people.
Macmillan also say the travel insurance market is stacked against those affected by cancer with many continuously facing disproportionately high costs and some premiums as high as £10,000 for a simple family holiday. Macmillan are calling for regulators to work with the insurance industry to ensure that affordable and appropriate insurance is available to people after a cancer diagnosis by conducting a full market study.
Macmillan is also concerned that Universal Credit is failing to meet the needs of people with cancer, with too many losing out on vital support. Macmillan say that their support line and face-to-face benefit advisors are telling them that Universal Credit can be difficult to apply for, challenging to get the right support and many people face long waits for payments. They are calling for the Government to make it easier for organisations like Macmillan to support people through their claim.
Andrew Gwynne said:
“Dealing with cancer is always going to be very difficult but one element that is often overlooked is the financial impact of living with cancer.
“This can move people living with cancer very quickly from a position of relative security to one of financial distress. It is essential that at this difficult time the government and financial service providers provide the appropriate support – at the moment this is too often not the case.
“I welcome Macmillan’s report highlighting this issue and will continue to work with them on their campaign to ensure people living with cancer get the right support.”