Central Scotland MSP Monica Lennon has backed a campaign from Marie Curie that calls for more support for those experiencing end of life poverty.
Figures from the charity show that in Scotland, around one in four people of working age and one in eight pensioners experience poverty at the end of their lives.
Scottish Labour and Co-operative MSP Monica Lennon has praised Marie Curie’s ‘Dying in Poverty’ and has called on both the UK and Scottish governments to take urgent action to support terminally ill people and their families.
Statistics show 212 people aged between 20 and 64 in North Lanarkshire and 152 in South Lanarkshire experienced poverty in the last year of their life in 2019.
For those aged 65 and over, the figures were 357 in North Lanarkshire and 326 in South Lanarkshire.
Marie Curie’s Dying in Poverty campaign calls for the Scottish Government to –
- Commit to increasing the Child Payment for terminally ill claimants with dependent children;
- Extending eligibility for the upcoming Scottish Carer’s Assistance for up to six months after the person’s caring role ends;
- Extending eligibility of the upcoming Winter Heating Assistance to all terminally ill people, even if they are under 65-years-old.
Marie Curie is also calling for terminally ill people of working age across the UK to get early access to their State Pension, saying that the benefits system for working-age people who are dying fails to protect them from falling below the poverty line.
Monica Lennon MSP said: “Each of these deaths is more than a statistic. Each one represents a person who struggled to make ends meet at the end of their lives, who likely experienced the constant stress financial hardship can cause during already difficult and challenging days.
“The sad reality is that many people are pushed into poverty after being diagnosed with a terminal illness, and I’m thankful to Marie Curie for commissioning research around such a sensitive area.
“The figures lay bare a sorry state of affairs that must be addressed by both the Scottish and UK governments. The research shows that is a serious issue for the people that I represent in Lanarkshire.
“No one deserves to die in poverty and I wholeheartedly support Marie Curie’s call for action.
“I would encourage people to sign the charity’s petition by visiting https://www.mariecurie.org.uk/policy/poverty.”