Terminally ill father says changes to widowed parent’s allowance that come into force this Thursday are ‘daylight robbery’
“My death, on or before Thursday, changes my family’s wellbeing to the tune of tens of thousands. It is utterly unbelievable.”
Alan’s voice cracked, not just with emotion but the brutal impact of four years of cancer that started in a tonsil before spreading to his lungs and chest, delivering a terminal diagnosis in June, 2015.
By December, last year, the 51-year-old husband and father (who has asked the Guardian not to use his real name in order to protect his family) was given between one and five months to live.
His mind quickly focused on the lives of his wife, Kate, and their children, a 10-year-old daughter and 14-year-old son, after his death. He feared the “whirlwind of emotional and financial distress and turmoil” heading towards them as he grappled to draw up a plan.
Then came a bitter blow that has led Alan to speak out urgently against a Conservative policy being rolled out this week, despite voting for Theresa May’s party all his life.
The father and businessman, who was forced to give up work due to his illness, realised that if he survived beyond midnight this Wednesday 5 April, his family could be stripped of tens of thousands of pounds of critical financial support over the next decade.
Changes to the widowed parent’s allowance mean a benefit of around £112 a week until the youngest child leaves full-time education, perhaps in 10 years’ time, will be replaced by £350 a month (£80 a week) for a maximum period of just a year and a half.