As soon as the Chancellor sat down after delivering his first, and last, Autumn Statement, organisations, businesses and charities across the country began busily calculating what it means for them.
However for many families the Autumn Statement today will have passed by without comment.
These are the children, young people and families who are living every day with a cancer diagnosis.
This afternoon, instead of listening to the Chancellor, these families might be sitting by their child’s bed in hospital, heading back to a CLIC Sargent Home from Home for a few minutes sleep, or going through their energy bills at home working out how to make ends meet when they have had to give up work to spend time with their child.
They won’t be paying close attention to tax changes or predictions the Chancellor has made today because they are too busy dealing with the reality of their child’s cancer diagnosis.
That’s where CLIC Sargent comes in. Our services such as our Homes from Home, social workers and financial grants are there for them, whenever they need them. We fight for young lives to limit the damage cancer causes beyond their health.
This is how we know that one of the biggest pressures upon these families is the huge financial impact of a child’s cancer diagnosis. Families are facing an extra cost of £600 per month in additional expenses simply because their child has cancer. This is not right and it is not fair. Families that are ‘just about managing’ can be pushed into debt and financial struggle by a child’s cancer diagnosis.
That is why CLIC Sargent called on the Chancellor to help ease the pressures on family budgets and support families who are facing debt and financial pressures because of a cancer diagnosis.
Welcome in the Statement today was the cancellation of the planned fuel duty rise (travel, especially car related travel is the biggest additional expense for our families) and continued commitment to provide free childcare.
However, more needs to be done – young cancer patients and families need action on hospital car parking charges, access to benefits and support with their energy bills to make sure that they are able to focus on their cancer treatment rather than how they are going to pay next month’s mortgage.