Various news outlets have posted a story about two Scottish women who claim to be proud that they are fat and on government benefits rather than working to support themselves.
In the story, they introduce readers to forty-four-year-old Janice Manzur and her twenty-five-year-old daughter Amber, while painting a picture of unapologetic scammers working the welfare system. You are not going to believe this story when you read it.
According to one website, Janice Manzur and her daughter Amber weigh a combined six hundred and three pounds. Both need to use mobility scooters to get around town and renovations had to be made to their homes home in Fife, Scotland to accommodate their special needs.
Janice says that she had been employed at a call center until 2006 when her health got so bad that she had to retire and go on public assistance.
Currently, the combined income for the mother and daughter is about fifty-one thousand dollars a year, almost all of which is derived from public assistance benefits.
Despite the ongoing health problems neither seems to express any interest in taking on a health regimen to improve their conditions, according to this article.
Janice says “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.”
Much of her diet consists of ready-made meals which she claims are less expensive and easier to prepare.
Her daughter Amber, lives a few houses down with her own child, choosing to drive the fifty yards it takes to go to her mother’s home.
Amber says “People shouldn’t judge me or my mum for how big we are because it’s in our genes.”
And her mother agrees, adding “I’d rather my daughter live life fat and happy than depressed and thin.”
At least one neighbor commented on Amber’s health saying “Amber is that bad she can hardly walk. It takes her half an hour to get up the stairs. She’s never walking. When she comes round to see someone it takes her half an hour to get to the house.”
In the article, which is clearly designed to foment anger against people who receive public assistance, they quote another anonymous neighbor who says “The amount of benefits they get is ridiculous. My views are people like that should have their benefits cut. It will fall to the National Health Service to pay for treatment.”
While many say it portrays a seemingly egregious abuse of the UK’s welfare system, it does not so neatly explain the very real need for assistance programs here in the United States, where one in five children live in food insecurity every day. While it’s hard to feel bad for some adults who choose not to work, it’s sad to see children in situations where they don’t have enough food to eat.
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