Tuesday, 10 May 2011

Does NHS waste up to £850 million per year on Benefit Scroungers?

by Chris K

No. But that could well be the headline from a recent redtop, the Mail or the Telegraph.

Tory Central Office, via the DWP, would have you believe that there are nearly a million perfectly healthy UK residents whose prime purpose in life is to sit back, living a life of ease on generous Incapacity Benefits. Some might endure annoyances like asthma or breathing difficulties, back problems and depression, but basically they're fit for 'some kind of work'.

The government is very keen to point out that the number of people claiming some form of disability allowance is unsustainable. What it is not keen to point out is that, with more and more multi-nationals now off-shoring, the countries' tax base is collapsing. This is why it is unsustainable. Income has changed not outgoings.

Here are some other unsustainable statistics that hardly get a mention:

14% of UK kids are asthmatic. The European average is 7%.

Over 5 million UK adults are asthmatic.

The NHS spends £850 million per year on treating asthma.

COPD causes about 25,000 deaths a year in the UK. The number of people that suffer from it runs into millions.

The NHS is worried that at least 1 in 4 of people (now alive) will die of some form of respiratory illness.

Air pollution in London breached annual legal limits by Wednesday 20 April 2011. This is despite commitments by both the UK Government and the London Mayor to bring it under control this year to avoid huge EU fines. Link

To my knowledge this has been happening for the last six years (breaking EU limits) but not normally until June or July. That is still, however, long before the hot weather turns to autumn. Consecutive governments have done nothing to reduce pollution.
Not even our 'greenest government ever.'

Also remember that although my experience is in London our climate is also yours.

I suffer from asthma and COPD and in the past have had ATOS declare me fit for 'some kind of work'. Well yes, that is indisputable; but what?

I receive air-text pollution warnings and normally I will receive approximately 50-60 warnings per annum, most of which will be low to moderate. I avoid going out, if possible, when it is moderate.

Today I received my 18th consecutive daily warning, virtually all of which are moderate or high. In total this year I have received 32.
From the moderate rating upwards my chest rattles, I wheeze and I spend a lot of time supine, reading or listening to the radio. I catnap a lot.
I also have a chest infection every winter sometimes pneumonia.
Trust me, this is not an enjoyable 'lifestyle choice'. It is frustrating, boring and the fact that the government is trying to convince people that I'm swinging the lead really tees me off.
And, guess what, this is only the beginning of May!

I am poor. I don't drink or smoke and I go out rarely.
Most of my clothes are second-hand. I have no personal transport. I do not claim DLA. I live alone.
All the money I spend goes straight back into the economy. That's virtually 100% of my income.

I have paid NI fairly consistently from 1969 – 1991, my back problems were caused by work and my lung problems were certainly exascerbated by it (asbestos). I started smoking when it was acceptable and the government was glad of the tax.

So, what is the point of this ego-centric bleat?

I want your sympathy of course. I want is for myself and at least 25% of the 900,000 supposed 'lead-swingers' that will have breathing difficulties.
Please, next time you see crass figures in the press, write in and complain. And, if you think I'm being self-centred, you're right, I am - but I'm writing about what I know, not what ATOS are paid to find.

Outside of this 25% there are still the other half million plus who have been refused disability benefits that might not look ill but certainly are to some extent or other.

Remember that, before people are checked out by ATOS, at least one doctor and, probably, a consultant have declared the claimant is too ill to work. ATOS assessors tend not even to be doctors. Mine, who was, mistook my eczema for scabies. Reassuring – still, only the best for ATOS.

Please also consider that pollution is reaching epidemic proportions in the UK and that the chances of you and family members suffering adverse health effects are rising exponentially.

If you need to blame someone for the unsustainability of disability allowances blame the tax dodgers not the sick. The polluters not the polluted.

The wealthy are taking more and more cash out of our economy by tax avoidance and investing it abroad where they make better returns. Please don't buy into their myth that the hardship that this causes is the fault of the 'undeserving poor'. It most definitely is not.

If a firm like Boots stops paying tax in this country, that is a revenue loss of £80 billion per annum. Why use Boots? Support a smaller chemist, keep the cash circulating in our country. The same with banks, support mutual societies. You may lose pennies now but you will be helping to secure all of our futures, not just the future of those with excess capital. They're actually doing quite nicely.


zimmie said...

Great post, I believe the big company's have the Govt over a barrel saying that if you TAX us we will move our business elsewhere thus losing jobs.

Anonymous said...

Great comments, hopefully it'll be printed elsewhere. As many elsewheres as possible...

Visually Impaired said...

Great post and it is true.

DeusExMacintosh said...

Great. I wonder how long it will be before people on benefits have to get ATOS permission to access NHS services?

DeusExMacintosh said...
This comment has been removed by the author.