Readers’ letters - October 23

Changes to the benefits system will push vulnerable people over the edge financially, says a correspondent. See letters
Changes to the benefits system will push vulnerable people over the edge financially, says a correspondent. See letters

Changes will hurt ill people

Macmillan Cancer Support is highlighting the extra financial burden that many people with cancer face, due to extra costs as a result of treatment and/or a loss of income. We are also warning that potential changes to the benefits system could leave many without a financial lifeline.

More than 2,400 people with cancer in the Lancashire and Wigan area depended on a Macmillan grant in 2014 to help them with costs of their treatment, receiving around £723,533 for vital essentials such as heating bills, clothing, bedding and transport to and from hospital.

Nationally, more people with cancer than ever before (over 85,000) also depended on us to understand and access the government benefits and tax credits system, including getting help to fill in complex and often time-consuming forms, as well as tribunal representation from our local benefits advice services.

The growing number of people with cancer turning to us with money worries is a stark reminder of the financial impact of a cancer diagnosis when, on average, their income halves and their outgoings rocket. As numbers surge, the support that organisations like Macmillan provide are becoming even more urgent and important, but we cannot do it alone.

Every sector has a duty to protect people with cancer from further financial turmoil. Yet the Government, through its Welfare Reform and Work Bill, is proposing to reduce the benefits of people with cancer who are currently unable to return to work because they’re not well enough by around £30 a week.

Macmillan is calling on the Government to remove the proposed cut as we believe it will risk pushing the most vulnerable over the edge financially.

People in Wigan can find more at our Put the Fair into Welfare campaign site at

Macmillan offers financial and benefits advice to anyone affected by cancer.

To speak to one of our welfare or financial experts, your readers can call us free on 0808 808 00 00, Monday to Friday, from 9am to 5pm. Or visit

Paul McCavana

Head of Services – North of England

Macmillan Cancer Support

Persecuting hard workers

I’m writing to you concerning my local MP, Lisa Nandy. I want her to stand up in Parliament and let them know that, if they proceed with the planed tax credit cuts, this will completely break my family up.

We live from day to day as it is.

Myself and my wife have worked hard but we are constantly counting the pennies.

As it is, we would be better off not working, but I have always worked and want to do so.

I’m a proud man but there’s only so much cutbacks you can take and this one is persecuting the hard-working people like myself too far.

Please reconsider what you are doing. We work hard.

We are the back bone of Britain.

Tony Melling


Shame on Government

I’m writing to thank my MP Lisa Nandy for speaking out against the tax credit cuts by the Conservative government who promised to be the workers’ party then attack the hard-working poor. Shame on you!

Wayne Jones