Worcestershire County Council is taking some serious hear after a decision to allow free gym membership to overweight residents on taxpayer expenses.
According to the Daily Mail, there is a widespread issue regarding obesity in the West Midlands of England. Nearly 25% of adults in the country are considered obese.
The new program, which is still under review, would be completely funded by money from English taxpayers.
“Squandering taxpayers’ money on schemes which don’t deliver results,” said Jonathan Isaby, of Taxpayers Alliance, “means less is available for essential services like adult social care.”
Isaby states that it is up to the individual to handle their health and wellness and not the taxpayer. “Personal responsibility is key,” he said.
In America, 26% of adults admit to not even paying their bills on time, so it’s probably a stretch to think this program would be met with open arms in the United States.
The Mirror reports that Worcestershire County was named as one of England’s “fattest areas” due to all their obesity-related admissions to hospitals. The obesity crisis is more than just an issue of lazy Englanders, as diabetes and even amputations have become commonplace. Wholly 135 legs are cut off every week in Britain due to diabetes — that’s 7,000 amputations a year.
The council figured addressing this horrible crisis would be beneficial to all, but clearly did not expect to see this level of criticism.
“Why should I have to pay for my gym membership,” asked Katie Logan, a 21-year-old gym-goer, “and others get it free? “Essentially our money that could just fund them having a nice dip in a swimming pool and jacuzzi. That is just not on.”
“Why can’t they just go walking or jogging instead?” asked Pauline Grant, “That doesn’t waste essential cash.”
Worcestershire and the rest of England hope to find a successful program to simultaneously address the obesity and diabetes problem, while appealing to the taxpayers and gym-goers — easier said than done.