I was grateful to meet Marie Curie recently and to back their important Dying in Poverty campaign.
It is estimated that 90,000 people in the UK die in poverty every year. Figures also show that 1 in 4 terminally ill people spend the last years of their lives in poverty.
The financial impact of a terminal illness on a household was estimated to be as much as £12,000-£16,000 per year, according to the last available figures from Marie Curie.
The combination of income loss and additional costs associated with terminal illness is a direct cause of poverty for many people at the end of life.
Individuals of working age who are diagnosed with a terminal illness are more likely to die in poverty compared to pensioners diagnosed with a terminal illness. This is due to the lack of state pension provision or lifetime savings.
Kirsten said: “It is a well-known fact that poverty can cause ill health, but it is sometimes forgotten that ill health can cause poverty.
“Absolutely no-one should have to spend the final years of their life in poverty. That’s why I am backing Marie Curie’s campaign.
“The difference in the risk of poverty at the end of life for people of working age and of pension age is shocking. This clearly demonstrates how ineffective the working age benefits system is as a means to prevent poverty when compared to the state pension.
“The troubling rise in energy bills will also be having a detrimental impact on the terminally ill, this is why I support Marie Curie’s call to ensure all terminally ill people regardless of age are eligible for the Winter Fuel Payment and the Warm Home Discount Scheme.”