Various social media have been posting and talking about the mother and daughter who are reportedly claiming to be proud that they are fat and on government benefits rather than working to support themselves. According to MailOnline , the two Scottish women who weigh a total of 43 stone and receive £34,000 a year in handouts say they’d rather be happy and on benefits than depressed and thin.
Janice Manzur, 44, and her daughter Amber, 25, need to use mobility scooters to get around town, while Janice’s home in Kirkcaldy, Fife, has been modified by the council to accommodate her disability.
Janice, who has been claiming benefits since 2006, said that she had been employed at a call center until her health got so bad that she had to retire and go on public assistance. Amber, her daughter has not worked for more than two years.
According to the reports, they together receive around £33,600 in benefits a year, which is the equivalent of someone earning £46,000 a year before tax.
Despite of their current health condition, the pair still have no plans to diet, and say they are happy being overweight, despite the risks of obesity-related health issues.
MailOnline reported that Janice told The Sun’s Jenny Francis: ‘I’d rather my daughter live life on benefits being fat and happy than depressed and thin.”
Janice is living with a number of weight-related conditions, including diabetes, high cholesterol and angina, according to the newspaper.
She says she has tried to lose weight in the past, but was unable to shift the pounds and when she asked a doctor about the possibility of having weight loss surgery, such as a gastric band, was told she was too overweight. She then decided to give up attempts to diet.
But, after winning a tribunal case where it was argued she could work if she lost weight, she now receives £620 in Employment Allowance and £320 in Disability Allowance every month, as well as £300 for rent.
‘I’ve always been big and I’m too fat to work, so I have a genuine disability. I should be miserable but I’m happy. I know this is the way I’m meant to be.’
Amber on the other hand, is said to get £400 a month in Employment Support Allowance and an extra £430 for the rent on her modified flat – short walk from her mother’s home – which has no stairs, a low front door enabling easy access for her scooter and a bath with a seat to help her get in and out.
Accordingly, she lost her last job in security after breaking her leg and also gets £85 in disability living allowance and £120 in industrial injuries disablement benefit because she is obese and continues to experience problems with her leg. She also receives £240 in child tax credits and £80 in child benefit.
Amber says “People shouldn’t judge me or my mum for how big we are because it’s in our genes.”
One of their neghbors, who wants to remain anonymous, criticised the money given to the pair by saying: ‘The amount of benefits they get is ridiculous. My views are people like that should have their benefits cut. It will fall to the NHS to pay for treatment.’
Tam Fry of the National Obesity Forum was ‘horrified’ knowing that disability benefits were being awarded for obesity, and told MailOnline: ‘I think it’s a total exploitation of the benefits system.’
‘There must be a benefits system available to help those people who require assistance and there are many of them. That is correct and that is why it is there. But when it is handed to a family who are happy to exploit it to the degree of £34,000 a year and are refusing to diet the system has gone mad.’