Receiving the news that you have cancer is a devastating blow for anyone, writes Gloria De Piero MP.
I recently met with Macmillan Cancer Support to discuss its new report on the financial impact of cancer entitled ‘Cancer - A Costly Diagnosis?’
The report focuses on people’s individual experiences and highlights three particular areas – Universal Credit, the support banks and building societies give people living with cancer and the cost of travel insurance.
More than 100 people came to the Houses of Parliament to share stories of the financial barriers they face after a diagnosis and it was very moving to hear what they have been going through.
Four in five people who are diagnosed with cancer find themselves an average of £570 a week worse off as a result of their diagnosis, because of the impact it has on their ability to work.
Also applying for Universal Credit is a long and complicated process and applicants can face long waits for payments, leaving them struggling financially.
It is obvious in my view that people are not getting the support they need from the Government or financial service providers.
Macmillan is also campaigning for regulators to look at the travel insurance market, with some cancer sufferers facing disproportionately high costs and premiums.
This is simply not fair and needs to be looked at.
Twice in the last week I have raised in Parliament the issue of the Nottinghamshire woman whose husband tried to murder her and is now fighting for half of all of their joint assets in the divorce courts.
For many months now I have been pressing the Government to change the law to protect such victims of domestic violence.
It is not right that someone who tries to kill their spouse is entitled to half of the family house and other assets.
Victims of such attacks are made to be victims again by losing their homes to pay their attackers what they are ‘owed’.
It is a disgrace and I hope this vital law change is made soon.