back to article Healthy? You're a burden on the state

Dutch researchers have confirmed what fat smokers have waited years to hear - that healthy people are actually a greater burden on the state, because they live longer and oblige the taxpayer to deal with the cost of "lingering diseases of old age like Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s". That's according to the Netherlands’ National …

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Paris Hilton

Is this a new Reg measure

A lifetime? What next - the eternity?

i.e.

A lifetime in Paris is worth an eternity in any other place

Wouldn't p.a. be more usual (but probably less headline grabbing)

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Happy

I am a good socialist

I will stop dieting at once! Bring on the fries and burgers!

On second thought, I think by the time I get Alzheimers I will opt for a suicide pill.

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Anonymous Coward

I've been saying this for years...

Save the NHS! End the pension crisis! Save our children from becoming nursing home staff!

Eat more, drink more, smoke more, drive faster, ban seatbelts, ban motorbike helmets, take up extreme sports, stop filling in pot holes, end the nanny state, ban health warnings on food and electrical items, etc, etc*

* not for the kids obviously

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Anonymous Coward

Flawed logic

"While obesity is already apparently costing the NHS £1bn a year, we wouldn't be the first to point out that smokers (and drinkers, for that matter) contribute vast sums of tax to the exchequer every year by resolutely sticking to their deadly vices."

Dead people don't contribute anything in tax.

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Anonymous Coward

heh

no s---

Of course it stands to reason that someone who lives longer costs more - also this is just to the health service, take into account the fact that dead people don't draw pensions aswell and I'm sure the figures start to look even more sqewed

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Coat

Take THAT anti-smoking fascists!!!!!!

At last! Research that is not sponsored by the "you smoke?? You ARE SCUM!!!!" brigade.

The one with the smokes in one pocket and the cakes in the other, thanks!

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Linux

Give me £60k

I'm an obese smoker. Can I take the money now please?

As to "Dead people don't contribute anything in tax" - WHAT? You've never heard of the gross injustice that is inheritance tax then? The biggest lump sum of tax you'll ever pay Greedy Gordon I expect...

The Penguin, cos he's looking a bit chubby, and is probably sitting down cos of his 20 a day habit. Good socially responsible Penguin.

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Fat folk ftw

People tend to forget that us fat folk contribute more to the economy too everytime we super-size. Our penchant for getting the bus or driving everywhere stimulates the oil and transport industry and saves on wearing down the pavements! Keep britain fat!

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Heart

(Total lifetime taxes) - (Total healthcare)

But what is the lifetime total of a healthy individuals taxes minus health care costs versus that of an average or unhealthy person.

Surely an average or healthy person would manage to contribute more in taxes to the state by working steadily from 20 to 65 with little or no health care, this would mean that the net gain would be greater than that of an obese or smoking addicted individual who would need health care costs over their lifetime.

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Re: Flawed logic

Dead non-smokers contribute zero tax as well. What's your point exactly?

Or is it more a case of your flawed reading?

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Flame

Actually...

@ AC --Dead people don't contribute anything in tax.

Yes, but they don't ask for much from the government either. If they want brains they rise from their graves and terrorize the living until they get their fill. No government intervention needed, no nanny state, no National Death Service to hand it to them. The Dead are very fiscally responsible.

Fire because it's the only thing them undead buggers fear.

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Anonymous Coward

Logans Run

I await a new government policy akin to Logans Run. Stay fit and healthy, and HMGov will cull you at 60. Then 50. Then 40. Profit!

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Coat

Re: Flawed logic

Not that flawed. We don't cost or contribute when we're dead. While we're alive we're young and productive and pay income tax. While you non-smokers are old you contribute bugger all.

To paraphrase Bill Hicks (I think), you can have those years.

Think my smokes are in my jacket...

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Silver badge
Black Helicopters

Soylent Green

It's so tasty!

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@ Retarded Coward

"Dead people don't contribute anything in tax."

it's only a matter of time...

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It's not just tax

>>"Dead people don't contribute anything in tax."

True, but they don't draw pensions or other benefits either.

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Re: Flawed Logic

An Anonymous Coward said "Dead people don't contribute anything in tax". I hereby direct said coward to contemplate inheritance tax, aka, the death tax.

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Pirate

@AC - Not flawed at all

You're missing the point that the people contribute a lot in taxes on the way to the grave but then pop their clogs relatively quickly. That's a net gain to the exchequer.

And as the poster above remarked it has been clear for years that we all owe a great debt to smokers, drinkers and fatties for paying for our pensions and geriatric health care with little chance of cashing in themselves.

Gawd bless'em all!

Skull and crossbones for the spectre of death stalking the land.

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Silver badge

@Flawed logic

No it isn't.

>Dead people don't contribute anything in tax.

Smoking beer swilling fat gits tend to be out of work spongers so they hardly contribute anything whilst alive. Given that during this alive phase they take more out of the system in social security payments than they spend on fags and beer and hence give back in tax then they are less of a burden dead.

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Alert

This is hilarious!

I work at a state-run mental health facility. The focus in the public sector is to reduce/eliminate government involvement in health care. [Obviously I'm in the U.S.]

Let's face facts....sick people cost money. The choices are 1) pay for their care with tax money or 2) make them take their chances in the for-profit environment of the private medical sector. Either way, if you're not able to self-pay, the risk of staying sick or dying due to insufficient care is quite high. In the case of mental health, it's literally as simple as declaring somebody cured (I've seen it done). It's a little harder with a cancer, heart or liver patient. You simply tell them that their insurance is no longer in force and to go away. In any event, the patient is done a disservice. In the end, though, it really doesn't matter. Please note that the actuaries, accountants and attorneys are in control (as is evidenced here by cash values being placed on care costs and stated as the most important issue). The impression we should be left with is that health care is too costly at any price and costs transferred elsewhere....anywhere but here.

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Alert

@Flawed logic - your logic is flawed

"Dead people don't contribute anything in tax."

They also don't claim pensions. Work out how much someone living beyond 65 costs the state every year ... I suspect you'll find, again, these healthy types are a drain on the system .....

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Go

Eat LARD..

..'cos it's good for you!

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Food Tax

"...smokers (and drinkers, for that matter) contribute vast sums of tax to the exchequer every year by resolutely sticking to their deadly vices."

The vices of the obese can similarly contribute if food taxes are levied (if they are not already being collected in your locale). Maybe we should consider a sort of junk food tax.

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Happy

Hurray

So..... rather then charging vice TAX, we should be receiving a vice subsidy.

I look forward to my rebate and in the mean time free booze and fags all round!

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The only result

Is that our culture will have to offer suicide as a respectable solution to those sane of mind at any adult age, with or without illness. The logic says that because I am my own person the one thing I should always have control over is my life. And yet our culture and society doesn't even let people end their _own_ lives, how selfish is that.

Ah well another 50 years and we'll be forced into it anyway.

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Pirate

@Anonymous Coward

Eat more (still a skinny bugger though) *check*

drink more (off to Poland at the weekend) *check*

smoke more (Poland has cheap fags) *check*

drive faster (own BMW + therefore the whole road!) *check*

ban seatbelts (I'll try to forget)

ban motorbike helmets (Doesn't make much difference on 1000cc bike) *check*

take up extreme sports (Snowboarding at the end of the month)

stop filling in pot holes (They already have!)

end the nanny state (I wish)

ban health warnings on food and electrical items (I'm off to Poland and can't read Polish!) *check*

I think that's me sorted then... Nice knowing you lot

Sto lat, Sto lat... (actually... maybe "czterdziesci lat" would be more accurate!)

*croak*

(Anon just in case the boss sees!)

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Coat

Oh really? I don't think so

I'm not a burden on the State, the State is a burden on me! They don't own me, although organ grabbing makes it look that way. These chumps are supposed to be in "power" to represent my interests, our interests. We pay huge amounts in tax and national insurance and then told we are a burden? The burden are the politicians, and people who produce this stuff. Let us put them all on an ark and send them off to look for new worlds!

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Guy
Boffin

@Chris W

This smoking, beer swilling fat git is definitely not a sponger, currently paying super tax, so how the fluff can I be called a drain on the social? propping it up more like at the moment. Also chris do you not go down to the pub, or with views like that have they barred you?....if you had any mates to go with in the first place

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Sam

Even quicker

-get admitted to a hospital in a trust that has consulted with Resolve healthcare consulting services...run by Mark "31 million down" Rees, and his girlfriend Rose "90 dead" Gibb....

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Anonymous Coward

@Chris W

"Smoking beer swilling fat gits tend to be out of work spongers so they hardly contribute anything whilst alive."

Mmm... When are we going to stop discrimination in all forms? Maybe when we uprise and kill all the tossers who spout shite like this.

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RE: @Flawed logic

"Smoking beer swilling fat gits tend to be out of work spongers so they hardly contribute anything whilst alive. "

Funny, I always figured those who rant about "out of work spongers" were greedy, tax dodging gits.

Even if your assumption is correct, those "spongers" are simply putting what money they do receive in jobseekers right back into the treasury.

"22 per cent of the retail price plus £105.10 per thousand cigarettes" (HMRC site) means that cigarettes generate at least 72% tax as 1000 would cost around £210 at retail prices. When was the last time you put 72% of anything in to the treasury?

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Dan
Paris Hilton

Healthy = more

Fair enough a healthy person costs more than an unhealthy person because they live longer.

But then a healthy person lives longer and contributes more money in taxes.

The only person who could contribute more is a "healthy" smoker who pays exorbitant tax on their ciggies (as an ex-smoker that still annoys me I used to have to pay all of that tax,) and lives longer and pays more tax.

So surely we should all become healthy smokers :) Sure we'll cost more, but we'll easily cover that with all the tax we'll pay.

P.H. as I've confused myself lol

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Dead Men Don't Get Handouts

Heard of "Widows pension"?

The only dead person who is a benefit to society monetarily is the dead single person with no family.

Kind of sucks, really.

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Stop

Chris W, are you quite sure?

@ Chris W.

"Smoking beer swilling fat gits tend to be out of work spongers.."

Presumably, as you're reading el Reg, you've at least a passing interest in IT. Want to take a gander at your nearest IT support department and then go away and think about what you just said?

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Pirate

Hmmm....

Considering that there's already pressure on NHS to not treat those with "unhealty lifestyles" (http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/main.jhtml?xml=/news/2008/01/27/nhs127.xml) and I'm finding very conflicting studies concerning whether smoking or obesity themselves causes absenteeism or whether that's an association with other factors, such as simply being older than 25, I'm thinking that being a fat puffer would likely end up saving money in the long run.

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Joke

Well at least

Dead people can still vote in America.

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Anonymous Coward

Live and let die

As far as I'm concerned smokers should be free to commit suicide and waste their lives if they want to. The only conditions should be:

1. They mustn't inflict harmful or toxic by-products on other people (including their children)

2. They mut never get healthcare priority over people who aren't hell bent on self destruction

3. Smokers caught with non-duty-paid cigarettes should lose their NHS entitlement as they're ripping off everyone else

4. I shouldn't have to kiss them / be breathed on by them

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Silver badge

It was done years ago

I thought some US tobacco company once commissioned a similar report to show that smokers were not a drain on the system and came to the same answer - because they mostly died before getting to pensionable age, they did indeed not burden the system. The report was suppressed at the time because it was somewhat embarrassing to them.

As for all the fat and lardy types who've already commented, I'd like to recommend http://www.britishlard.co.uk/ as a must-read site.

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Silver badge

As Sir Humphrey Appleby said in 'Yes Minister'

"think of all those smokers laying down their lives so that the rest of us can have better health treatment"

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Pirate

@Dan

"But then a healthy person lives longer and contributes more money in taxes"

Not so. The "healthy person" will have paid far less tax as they went through their working life, and stop paying income tax when they retire - I don't know the actual figures but i'd guess the average retiree's tax outgoings from all sources (e.g. VAT etc) is borderline break even or even a loss for the government. The only way your argument would stack up would be if the unhealthy were kicking the bucket a long time before normal retirement age, but they probably aren't.

I've always figured the smokers and drinkers were subsidising all the other sanctimonious b*stards and it looks like I was right. We need a big war to level the playing field and whinnow out some of the fit people. That'll teach 'em.

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Happy

@system

Out on a work do and a contractor who earned 3 times what I did was heard to say, "I don't pay my taxes so layabout students can drink!" He wasn't very happy when I told him his sentence was complete after the first 5 words...

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End the nanny state !

Judging by the comments here, the nanny state will never end. If you don't want to smoke, then don't, stop lecturing me about it. If you don't want to eat burgers and chips, don't and I don't need lecturing on that either (I don't eat burgers anyway)..

In fact, one of the most healthy persons I ever worked with, was a major liability to public services as he kept falling off mountains and injuring himself. He had one leg shorter than the other through so many breakages.

The biggest cost to the state are children. No one suggests we should eliminate them, now, do we ?

This country used to matter in the world, why?, because we cared. Wonder why we don't matter any more.

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Flame

@Chris W

"Smoking beer swilling fat gits tend to be out of work spongers so they hardly contribute anything whilst alive."

Fuck you! I pay 40% tax, have private health care AND am smoking and drinking myself to death.

After reading your post I don't know why I bother now

I also don't read the daily mail

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Anonymous Coward

actually

Considering the massive taxes on cigs and i'm sure up and coming tax on fast food, i think you'll find a massive amount of tax payers money comes from these nasty habbits to begin with, so die 20 years younger but pay that 20 years of missed tax in indulgence.... and as was mention the inheritance tax... dont even get me started on that

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Thumb Down

On that basis ...

... we should all encourage the growth of cot deaths, because if 99% of babies were to die in their first 6 months, something like 99% of NHS expenditure could be saved.

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Anonymous Coward

Health: logic vs. religion

The religious belief that smoking causes cancer prevents the implementation of a compulsory smoking policy which would reduce the incidence of age-related neurological conditions and thereby reduce the health costs attributable to old age. Nobody told you there were health benefits from smoking, did they?

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This is similar to a previous study

Philip Morris sponsored a study some years ago in the Czech Republic to examine costs imposed by smokers on society. The result was that the state actually saves quite a bit of money in pensions and has a net gain due to the early deaths of smokers. The report was pulled as it was deemed not politically correct.

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Flame

Flawed logic

@ Retarded Coward - I would like to dispute the flawed logic that dead men pay no tax. Please check on the tax situation of Freddy Mercury's estate and the royalties that are still coming in for his songs !! Unfortunately, you'll have to fight your way through that horde of vampires, sorry I mean HM Inspectors of Taxes, to get at em.

@Kevin Kitchen - Not true !! You have conveniently missed out the exorbitant taxes on booze and fags consumed during their lifetimes !!

@Jaap Stoel - By the time you get Alzheimers, you'll forget where you put that suicide pill !!

@Steve Browne - tis because ever since the Great Mrs. Thatcher suffered the Ides of March, we've been electing one nanny state government after another !! What you votes is what you gets !!

Flame cos it the nearest representation of my lighter !

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Pirate

Re: This is similar to a previous study

"The report was pulled as it was deemed not politically correct."

Or was it because the report wasn't correct?

Did you check the situation or did you jump to the conclusion?

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Pirate

Death Tax.

Wrong Dead people do contribute in taxes. Ever heard of the Estate Tax?

You die they sell your property, and someone else pays tax.

I dont know if they have inheritance tax on your side of the pond.

Someone has to bury you or incinerate your remains. Then there is the auction to sell all those items you have been hording.

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