David Cameron warns victims of obesity who refuse to lose weight, could see their benefits of £100 per week cut or suspended with the aim of the new policy to ensure people seek treatment.
During his trade visit to Singapore, he will tell reporters: “We must look at what we do when people simply say no thanks and refuse that help but expect taxpayers to carry on funding their benefits”.
He adds, “Over the next five years I want to see many more people coming off sick benefit and into work.”
In order to achieve this, Professor Dame Carol Black, chair of the Nuffield Trust, will review the welfare system and report back to the Prime Minister “on how best to achieve that”.
The Department of Health reveal statistics on the NHS cost of obesity with £5 billion spent each year and £27 billion to the wider economy each year.
According to figures released by Downing Street, it has been reported around 90,000 people also claim sickness benefits whose illness is due to drug or alcohol addiction. Therefore around 25 per cent of alcoholics and an estimated 80 per cent of heroin and crack users claim benefits.
Consequently, though it is not confirmed from Cameron himself, it is believed drink and drug addicts could also be denied benefits if they refuse medical treatment.
Professor Black says, “addiction to drugs and alcohol, and in some cases extreme obesity, can have a profoundly damaging impact on people’s chances of taking up meaningful employment.”
After assessing how conditions like this create unemployment, the next step would be to look at best practices from around the world in fighting obesity.