Note: A very simple explanation for the growth in incapacity benefit:
Thatcher wilfully destroyed the natural employments of the working-class and this, plus the every increasing failure to defend our economy and the mass importation of cheap labour, has created an army of people who have no realistic chance of getting a job which will allow them to live a normal life, ie, to support a family. RH
Daily Telegraph: New test to crack down on 'sick note culture'
19/11/2007 The Government today announced plans to crack down onBritain's "sick note culture", as new figures revealed taxpayers had paid out £4.4 million in benefits over the past year to people deemed too fat to work. Almost 2,000 people were deemed too fat to work
Peter Hain, the Work and Pensions Secretary, said a new disability test aimed at getting more people back to work would be introduced.Mr Hain said the emphasis of the Work Capability Assessment would be on demonstrating what claimants can achieve, rather than what they cannot. From October, claimants will be asked to prove they can sit at a desk and work with a computer keyboard and mouse. "Currently, there are many people sitting at home in the belief that they are unemployable, with no life choices or long-term prospects because they do not think their illness or medical conditions can be catered for in the workplace," Mr Hain said.
"But this is just not the case. Many people with such conditions are perfectly able to take up successful careers, if the right support is in place. "That is why I have introduced the new assessment. It will not only accurately identify a person's physical and mental ability, it will offer advice on the type of help and support a person may need so that they can find sustainable work.
Almost 2,000 obese people were awarded incapacity benefit over the past 12 months, while billions more was handed out for complaints ranging from acne to leprosy. A total of £7.4 billion in incapacity benefit was shared between 2.7million people, among them alcoholics, drug addicts and people with sleep and eating disorders.
The full list of ailments, which was obtained using a Freedom ofInformation request, may fuel suspicion that people are being pushed into claiming benefits to lower the official unemployment statistics.
Stress appeared to keep 50,000 claimants off work, while 15,600 claimed with what is described as "malaise and fatigue". Another 380 claimants were afflicted with haemorrhoids, and 50 collected around £100,000 between them due to acne.
Matthew Elliott, the chief executive of the Taxpayers' Alliance, said:"Many incapacity claimants are clearly taking advantage of the good nature of their GPs. There is a huge difference between not being able to work and not feeling like working." Mr Hain added: "We know that many people want to work - work is good for you and your long-term well-being and we don't think it's right that in the past people were effectively written off. We want to work with people to get them back into jobs and help them stay there."