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Benefits chopped for fatties.

(116 Posts)
Iggly Thu 03-Jan-13 11:07:53

Benefits Chopped for fatties?! really?

I'm just astounded. Who shall we demonise next?

claig Fri 04-Jan-13 11:43:16

Excellent post, NoMoreMarbles.
Shame on these 'think tanks' and councils who 'think' up these policies that punish people with penalties under the pretence of wanting to help them.

'Why a gym? Why does it have to be at a gym?'

I think it may well be what NoMoreMarbles spotted. Who owns these 'gyms', who built them? It may be that they are 'COUNCIL' gyms, built with public money, paid for by the people that these 'think tanks' now want to penalise. Maybe these 'gyms' are built in 'partnership' between councils and private companies. And who knows, maybe these gleaming 'gyms' built at public expense are near empty and are losing money and maybe councils want to claw money back by taking it from vulnerable people, forcing them to use their facilities and pay for them under the threat of removing their housing and council benefits.

I don't live in Westminster and this is, I think, a Conservative council. Just on this basis alone. I would not vote for these people. I think it is a policy that shows contempt for the people who pay the councillors' wages.

claig Fri 04-Jan-13 11:57:54

'NHS will save money etc. etc.'

I think we have to get back to basics. The NHS is not there to save money, it is there to treat people.

If we want to save money, let's cut the hundred thousand pound salaries and above of councillors and NHS trust managers, let's cut windfarm subsidies, let's cut foreign aid to countries with more billionaires than us, and let's cut BBC payouts and perks - let's not cut the services that people have paid for with their taxes.

ouryve Fri 04-Jan-13 12:01:54

There's not just the cost of the gym itself. There's not just the childcare concerns. What about people in rural areas? Our closest gyms are £6.50 return bus fare away. Who can afford that twice a week on benefits?

And the gym isn't always appropriate, anyhow. I know someone who needed to lose weight because she was pre-diabetic and having joint problems. She was sent to a gym, who told her quite plainly that they wouldn't accept her until all her medical issues had been fully investigated and were being properly managed.

NoMoreMarbles Fri 04-Jan-13 16:26:50

Thanks claig smile again excellent point made by your good self!

It is offensive in the least to single out one group of society members but the government don't seem to be interested in avoiding offence...there would be uproar if they began harping on about alcoholics or drug addicts...often people with unhealthy lifestyles have ended up the way they are due to unavoidable environmental factors, mental health issues, abusive family situations etc
if a person turned to heroin to escape the pain/awful life they have, they are given ALOT of support, free medications, extra benefits (sickness benefit, income support etc) but turn to food and you are treated as a drain on up drugs/alcohol/overeating is all a question of willpower, especially if it comes as a comfort to you when you are alone/in pain/anguish etc
I am slowly trying to turn my health around and have been trying for a long time but, I am not infallible, and these fat beurocrats sitting in their expensive suits, at their big desks in their £100k+ jobs telling me I am undeserving of help when I need it simply because I am overweight need to piss right off!

Kendodd Fri 04-Jan-13 17:40:22

I heard this talked about on radio 4 last night.

They said the plan was to give discounts on council tax for people who did use the gym, so effectively pay people to go. No mention was made at any point of cutting benefits for people who didn't go.

I had a very quick look at the BBC website but couldn't see anything about it.

Xenia Fri 04-Jan-13 18:04:03

It has just been floated by Westminster Council as an idea.

"Obese people who refuse to exercise could have their benefits cut under controversial plans being considered by a flagship London council.

The report, published for Conservative-led Westminster City Council by think-tank the Local Government Information Unit (LGIU), points out obesity costs the NHS £1.5bn every year and comes ahead of responsibility for public health being transferred to local councils.

'A Dose of Localism: The Role of Council in Public Health' suggests GPs should prescribe exercise as treatment for some conditions - and councils could monitor patients, rewarding those who take activity while restricting payments such as council tax and housing benefit for those who do not."

The article floats the suggestion that MPs' food allowances particularly that of Eric Pickles perhaps ought to be cut too.

We could also ban processed food and ensure all parents know that the best drink for children is tap water and that even fresh orange juice is not a health food.

HappyMummyOfOne Fri 04-Jan-13 18:23:32

Gym membership is not needed to exercise so if costs need to be cut I can see why this is being considered as its a non essential service.

As for the argument on taxes, if you are not working the you are not paying income tax and if claiming benefits then neither are you paying the vat, the state is as its their money in the first place being spent.

JakeBullet Fri 04-Jan-13 19:10:54

What about those of us who receive maintenance payments HappyMummy?
I pay VAT the same as anyone else does.

I don't get my petrol, shopping, clothing any cheaper than you do (although I try to buy second hand where clothes are concerned).

Fact is that it still goes back to the Govt.

JakeBullet Fri 04-Jan-13 19:12:04

I agree regarding gym membership btw. It benefits very few although I have seen it be very useful for recovering cardiac patients.

PurpleTinsel Sat 05-Jan-13 00:01:03

I think local councils should look at making it easier for people to eat healthily / harder for people to eat badly, before they start penalising fat people for not going to the gym.

Most of the towns near me have lots of takeaways selling fattening unhealthy food - less of those would make it harder for people to overindulge on junk food.

cinnamonnut Sat 05-Jan-13 16:11:29

^ So what do you suggest? Closing takeaways and closing businesses?

Those people have a choice whether to eat or not eat from takeaways - which are already really expensive to eat regularly anyway.

piprabbit Sat 05-Jan-13 16:19:51

But the council could make it a condition of giving the takeaway permission to open, that they have to have a bouncer and scales on the door to prevent fat people entering.

Then we could make it illegal for skinny people to supply fat people with unhealthy food, to prevent the fatties from asking their friends to buy them chips.

cinnamonnut Sat 05-Jan-13 16:28:14


timidviper Sat 05-Jan-13 16:39:25

It is very frustrating in healthcare though that a sizeable proportion of patients don't want any solution that requires them to make any changes or effort, they want some kind of magic pill. This, although it is not a perfect solution, is probably an attempt to get this group of people to accept some responsibility for their own health.

As an example, evidence shows that patients with some lung diseases have a hugely better prognosis from stopping smoking and gentle exercise than from any drug therapy yet we regularly refer patients to smoking cessation or exercise on prescription who then don't turn up (having said they understand all this and agreed, sometimes even quite enthusiastically, to go)

You have to remember that these sessions are staffed and paid for by the NHS even if the patient doesn't turn up so why should we all pay for that if they are not, in some way, censured?

TrippingTheLifeFantastic Sat 05-Jan-13 16:47:15

Why is it okay to refer to overweight people as "fatties"? Horrible title.

Xenia Sat 05-Jan-13 16:54:50

It is much more complex than just free will. Some people over eat and it is like an addiction. They need help in changing the types of foods they eat rather than a one off diet.

insancerre Sat 05-Jan-13 17:00:44

But what if they rigged all the exercise bikes up to the national grid? Then we wouldn't need the nuclear power stations they plan to build.
That's not a serious suggestion by the way, but neither is the plan in the article.

ChippingInLovesChristmasLights Sat 05-Jan-13 17:48:30

There are more holes in this proposal than in swiss cheese!

It is thoroughly unworkable.

It is also grossly unfair to target one 'group'. I agree with everything Claig (and others posting similarly) has said.

It is astounding, that people who should know better, are supporting this, people who I had assumed actually had a brain. Just goes to show how well people can hide their stupidity on an internet forum.

piprabbit Sat 05-Jan-13 17:58:28

cinnamonnut - just checking that you didn't think my idea was a serious suggestion for addressing the consumption of take away food. I'm starting to think I should have added a LOL or a hmm or a grin.

mercibucket Sat 05-Jan-13 18:08:38

These thinktanks float all kind of 'outrageous' ideas, to soften us up, and soon enough they will be mainstream
Look how quickly one or two turn up on here to applaud the idea
This government is treading a very very dangerous path - encouraging the worst in each of us and pitting group against group. Why? Who would benefit while we all fight amongst ourselves? The government, of the rich.
It is dangerous because of where it can lead. People have a very dark side to them. We forget this because in our own lives we haven't seen it. But we see the consequences on tv and throughout history. Most people who commit atrocities under state direction would be perfectly normal, decent citizens in a different time and place.
I also see this as another step towards fascism. Many normal people have supported fascism. The consequences are horrific.

cinnamonnut Sat 05-Jan-13 18:15:00

I actually wasn't 100% sure grin

piprabbit Sat 05-Jan-13 19:38:41

Glad that's cleared up grin

claig Sat 05-Jan-13 21:16:20

Labour are saying that they want to do something about what goes into our fodd. Good on them.

cinnamonnut Sun 06-Jan-13 10:25:47

I really don't think the food should just be made illegal like that!

Xenia Sun 06-Jan-13 12:54:48

We could simply ban the entirety of processed food. That would improve health at a stroke. We are now the second fattest nation on the planet. It is not just a joke. It's a really serious issue.

People think children's cereals are healthy but even if it's pure porridge you are just feeding stodge ie carb and dairy. Give them eggs, meat, bacon, veg, water, not toast and jam and cereals and milk

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