Minister cuts the fat from figures

The government has apologised after massively overstating the
number of obese people claiming benefits.

Earlier this month, health minister Lord Warner said that 900,000
claimants of incapacity benefits were obese, prompting headlines in
the national media.

The Department of Health now says that the actual figure is 900 and
that this only relates to people who receive incapacity benefit as
a result of obesity. It blamed an “administrative error” for the

It added that the total amount paid to this group a week is
£70,965 rather than the £70.9m figure initially used.

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