I welcome the news that the 6 Month Rule which caused so much misery for terminally ill people and their families will come to an end. I am grateful to the DWP Minister Justin Tomlinson MP for listening to the concerns raised and taking this action.
There is still much more to do to ensure our welfare system treats terminally ill people with fairness and compassion – and the statement the government released today will need to be scrutinised in detail – but this announcement is a victory for all those who have campaigned tirelessly for change.
This includes the Motor Neurone Disease Association and Marie Curie UK who have done so much to keep the campaign to scrap the 6 Month Rule on the agenda, and I am very grateful to both charities for the support they have given to me and other MPs raising the issue in Parliament.
Individual campaigners across the country have also played a huge role in the push for change. I pay tribute to my friend Madeleine Moon, the former Welsh Labour MP for Bridgend, who helped initiate the campaign in Parliament, drawing on her own tragic experiences to become a dedicated and powerful advocate for reform of a system that has not been fit for purpose. As Madeleine Moon said so powerfully in her speech in Parliament back in 2018, “…the unknown time you have must not be spent worrying about accessing benefits or keeping a roof over your head; it must be spent in love, laughter, and taking the painful journey together with dignity and compassion. It is time for this Government and this Parliament to support and ease this journey.” That is as true now as it was then.