Taxpayers foot the £80 million obesity benefits bill
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Analysis by the Tory party estimates the true cost of obesity handouts at more than £100 million over the past 12 years, though Labour dispute the figure, pointing out that it is based on the current incapacity rate and not the lower rates of previous years.
Minister for Disabled People Jonathan Shaw, insists that tests are in place to weed out any false claims. He told the Daily Mail: "Being obese does not qualify anyone for a handout. Incapacity benefit is paid where people are too ill to work and some people have a mix of different health conditions."
Presumably, though, those health conditions are inextricably linked to their obesity.
After a year of mounting incapacity benefit numbers, Government ministers recently announced that all claimants would be subject to a work test in the hopes of removing those found to be fit for employment. But with 2.6 million people currently claiming incapacity benefit (treble the number in 1979), is it too little too late?
And should the taxpayer be footing the bill for those whose inability to work is often down to unhealthy eating habits?