Belfast Telegraph

Cancer patients 'forced to cut back on buying food'

Cancer patients are forced to cut back on buying food and other everyday essentials as a result of their disease, a charity warned today.

One in six patients is hit due to increasing costs and lost income, Macmillan Cancer Support said.

A survey also found some patients are skipping meals to help save money while others are scared of losing their home.

Macmillan criticised the Government for its Welfare Reform Bill and said almost 7,000 cancer patients could lose up to £94 a week if the changes are implemented.

Under the plans, many cancer patients will only receive Employment and Support Allowance (ESA) for one year. The charity urged the Government to amend the Bill so that patients eligible for ESA receive it for as long as they need, rather than a fixed period.

Ciaran Devane, chief executive of the charity, said: "While we understand the benefits system is in need of reform, certain changes could have catastrophic effects on many families who are already struggling."

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