The Prime Minister of the United Kingdom, David Cameron, has publicized an unpopular new policy this week; a conservative plan to revoke benefits from obese people who don’t try hard enough to lose weight.
According to the Guardian, David Cameron outlined new policies on Saturday that would allow the government to withhold about £100 a week in benefits from people who aren’t making the effort to resolve their obesity. David Cameron and his supporters expect the obese to seek medical attention for their weight problem, or cut out drugs and alcohol. Under the current system, people suffering from obesity qualify for government help for health problems and disability, but Cameron’s new proposal would greatly reduce the amount spent to help them.
So far, David Cameron’s proposal has been heavily criticized, and certain charities and medical organizations are expected to fight the policy. According to the Huffington Post, the work and pension’s secretary’s allies have warned David Cameron against going through with the plan. Christian Guy of the Centre for Social Justice said that Cameron’s plan “had to be about health and getting people treatment, and not about slashing at budgets and making life more difficult for people.”
David Cameron is, however, seeking advice on the issue. David has consulted an adviser to the Department of Public Health, Professor Dame Carol Black, if reducing the benefits of obese people would be an effective way to provoke them into improving their health.
David Cameron hasn’t been met with complete disapproval in government. Senior cabinet minister Iain Duncan Smith supports Cameron’s plan to cut the benefits of obese people, but with a few restrictions.
“We’re not actually talking about saying we’ll take your benefits away from you if you can’t get yourself out of obesity. The problem we’ve got is that lots of people are either fearful or don’t want to take the help that’s there. What we want is people to take that help and to take responsibility for their condition and try to improve.”
But one critic of David Cameron’s proposal takes the opposition a step further. Senior Tory MP Sarah Wollaston claims that David Cameron is essentially forcing doctors and nurses to break the law. She has written David Cameron to inform him of the illegality of the policy.
“A doctor would not only find themselves in breach of the law, they’d find themselves at risk of being struck off,” Wollaston explained to BuzzFeed News. “So in fact, his proposal is utterly unworkable in terms of the existing law.”
What do you think? Would David Cameron’s idea to motivate the obese actually work?