£24m bill for coughs and stress

Giddiness can be expensive for UK taxpayers. Last year £24.2m was paid out to those on incapacity and unemployment benefit to treat anyone feeling dizzy or giddy. 'Malaise and fatigue' didn't come cheap either, costing taxpayers' £44m. And almost £140m went to 29,000 claimants struggling with the bottle.

Stressed out

It's quite a list. £17m went to claimants suffering 'unspecified mood disorders'. Unspecified? In comparison, the bill for haemorrhoids and anal fissures comes in pretty cheap at just £2m. But back pain is the real killer for benefit pay-outs. A total of £720m was claimed, according to new data from the Department of Work and Pensions.

Some clearly will be milking the system. But many people have real medical problems, sometimes exacerbated by their economic circumstances (growing income inequality in the UK a big worry). And claiming incapacity benefit or disability living allowance is becoming more difficult.


Don't forget that the NHS, in some instances, will be buying through some still pretty expensive procurement chains, artificially ramping up costs (something the government is attempting to deal with).

On the other hand, migraines and headaches are probably more easy to fake for those tempted. But what about the £215million which went to those suffering of a 'reaction to severe stress'. That's stress but not sufficiently serious enough to be assigned as depression.

It's a lot of money, and will probably rise further given current conditions.
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