Posted on Thursday 17 November 2022

in News

Young Lives vs Cancer responds to autumn statement

Today (Thursday 17th November) the Chancellor released his autumn fiscal statement (also referred to as a “budget”). The announcement included the news that the government will be scaling back the energy bills support households will receive from April 2023, alongside increasing the cap on energy prices yet again. This means that an “average” household’s bill will go up by another estimated £500 to around £3,000 a year. The price cap is a cap on the unit cost of energy and so dependent on the usage you need, a household’s yearly cost could be even higher.  

The government confirmed that cost of living support payments of £900 will be available for households on means-tested benefits, but only £150 for people on disability benefits. The value of benefits like Universal Credit and Carer’s Allowance will go up in line with inflation, but we know that this won’t help everyone who is already being affected by the ongoing difficult financial situation.

In response to the autumn statement, Rachel Kirby-Rider, Chief Executive of Young Lives vs Cancer said: “We are witnessing a worsening cost of living crisis, and young cancer patients and families were already having to deal with the uncontrollable costs of cancer before this. The energy costs support announced today does not go far enough in offering them real support to manage these spiralling costs and the difficult choices that come with them, like between putting the heating on to keep their child warm or paying for petrol to get to their treatment.

The measures announced today feel like a big step back and young cancer patients and their families deserve and need more. The government must commit to properly supporting them with energy costs to stop their tough choices getting even tougher.

We know how difficult it is for so many families right now, and with the government not providing enough support, we cannot sit by and let those already devastated by all that cancer throws at them, struggle even more. Young Lives vs Cancer has recently launched a Crisis Fund to help support children and young people with cancer and their families who are financially vulnerable.”

In addition, it was announced that tax thresholds for those such as Income Tax and National Insurance will be frozen, which means that people will have to pay more in taxes as wages rise – another additional cost on top of an already difficult time for family finances

The measures announced also included a £3.3 billion increase to the NHS budget in England for each of the next two years, and increases in the health budgets in Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland. Our NHS is already experiencing workforce shortages, mounting backlogs and strained resources, so it is critical that the health service has enough funding to make sure it meet the needs of patients, including young cancer patients. The government need to address the current challenges in the health and social care sector and provide the funding needed to deliver high quality care for all.

Before today’s announcement, Young Lives vs Cancer wrote to the Chancellor of the Exchequer outlining the increasingly difficult circumstances the families of young cancer patients are facing as a result of the cost of living crisis, on top of the additional costs they already face as a result of their cancer diagnosis, and why it is important that they address these in their plans. We haven’t had a response to this letter and the autumn statement did not address all of these challenges.

We will keep fighting for all the children, young people and their families who are affected by cancer and the cost of living crisis and do everything we can to deliver the support they need.

Financial support

Cancer costs. But we provide grants and unlock crucial financial support when it comes to money.

Find out what financial support is available for young cancer patients and their families
Sofyan - a young cancer patient - and his mum

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