From ‘The Sun', 26 January 2012 (words by Rod Liddle).
‘Pretend disabled' really ARE sick
My New Year's resolution for 2012 was to become disabled.
Nothing too serious, maybe just a bit of bad luck or one of those newly invented illnesses which make you a bit peaky for decades – fibromyalgia, or M.E.
There's lots of money to be made from being disabled – your money, taxpayers' money, as it happens.
And it is far easier to be disabled these days than ever was the case.
Also, I am nothing if not a creature of fashion, a cool and with-it hipster, daddy-o, who is always up to date with the latest trends.
And being disabled is incredibly fashionable. The number of people who claim to be disabled has doubled in the past ten years.
And who can blame them? Not only do you get money from the Government and don't have to go to work – but if you play your cards right you might get one of those badges which let you park wherever you want. Right in front of the cashpoint, for example. And you can use those enormous toilets with levers and handgrips and emergency buzzers they have in all public places, without feeling too guilty about it.
The latest figures regarding incapacity allowance came out this week. It is now estimated that 80 per cent of people who are claiming sickness benefit are actually fit to work. What's more, almost a million people have been on Invalidity Benefit for more than a decade.
When you suggest that this is a public scandal, the disability charities get very cross and accuse you of victimising the infirm.
But I'm not, I'm victimising the people who are pretending to be inform in order to claim money from the state.
Our at least, I'm trying to: I don't suppose it will have much effect. Just water off their supposedly bad backs.
Then the Left-wingers will say – hang on a minute, you fat old fascist, more money is lost to the country as a result of tax avoidance by the very rich than is wasted through sickness benefits.
Well, maybe it is. And the Government should deal with that with a bit more vigour than they do right now.
But it still doesn't make fraudulently claiming sickness benefits OK, does it?
That's like saying we shouldn't get worked up about crimes such as rape because murder is worse.
It's a silly argument.
More than anything, though the people fraudulently claiming sickness benefit are doing a disservice to those who really deserve it. The people who are truly disabled or ill. It has become easier to claim those benefits, partly as a consequence of the disablement charities who, out of their own self-interest, insist that an ever-greater proportion of the population is disabled.
I think we should all pretend to be disabled for a month or so, claim benefits and hope this persuades the authorities to sort out the mess.