The latest unworkable idea to emerge from this government is announced by James Purnell on behalf of the Department of Health and Department for Work and Pensions. Simply put it is that if an alcoholic does not accept ‘treatment’ then his or her benefits will be withheld.
Let’s take this a step or two further. Drug addicts who refuse treatment also to have their benefits slashed, well that’s already underway. Overweight people could also have benefit problems if it affects their ability to accept certain employment prospects. Smokers could be refused treatment as could people with sports injuries because let’s face it they don’t have to participate.
Alcoholics, drug addicts and smokers etc can only be helped if they want to be helped and no amount of benefit threats will bring about this desire and in fact will mitigate against that state of mind. If the targets of this ridiculous idea do indeed end up without a means of financial support what will they do? The answer is obvious, either they will starve to death on the streets or they will turn to crime in order to survive.
Politicians generally have a knack of answering the wrong questions. The real question is of course WHY so many of our citizens turn to drugs and alcohol in the first place and then solve that, which of course is a lot less easy than bashing the victims.