World Bulletin / News Desk
"Too many people are stuck on sickness benefits because of issues that could be addressed but instead are not," he said in a statement.
"Some have drug or alcohol problems, but refuse treatment. In other cases, people have problems with their weight that could be addressed, but instead a life on benefits rather than work becomes the choice."
Britain's finance minister George Osborne has said he plans to make cuts of 12 billion pounds a year in welfare payments if the Conservatives are re-elected as part of a push to wipe out Britain's still wide budget deficit.
A group which seeks to help people lose weight said the plan would be a waste of money, given the complexities of analysing individuals' weight problems and checking up on their progress. Instead the government should focus on weight-gain prevention.
"Threatening people isn't the way forward," said Susannah Gilbert, a co-founder of Big Matters, an obesity support organisation. "We need to put in place a structure to help anybody who wants to lose weight and that just isn't there."
Of the major indices, Facebook weighed most heavily on the tech-rich Nasdaq Composite Index, which was down 0.9 percent to 7,411.34 about 20 minutes into trading.
Company to release new commercial and defense products, head of company says
EA19's exports and imports rise 9.1 percent and 6.3 percent, respectively, year-on-year in January
Micro Focus warned in a statement that year-on-year revenues had fallen by more than anticipated since January, sending its shares slumping 55.88 percent to 831.40 pence.
Economy minister: Ankara 'absolutely' against Russia's limit on number of companies importing Turkish tomatoes
Turkey's assets abroad climb 2.1 pct at end of January 2018, compared with end-2017, according to Turkish Central Bank
BIST 100 opens 0.04 pct lower, Turkish lira loses value against foreign currencies
Listed shares in BIST 100 rise 0.01 percent; US dollar/Turkish lira rate climbs over 3.90; EUR/TRY stands at 4.80
Turkey bridges Muslim world and West, according to General Council for Islamic Banks and Financial Institutions
Britain intends to seek free trade deals with its major trading partners once it leaves the EU, as planned, in March 2019.
Net profits at the group rose 33.1 percent to hit 2.36 billion euros ($2.92 billion), higher than the 2.28 billion predicted by analysts.
About 45 minutes into trading, the Dow Jones Industrial Average was at 24,867.00, up 0.4 percent.
Low-cost carrier to offer direct flights to Dalaman from Dublin and Bratislava starting June
"Preliminary national accounts results for 2017 show an increase of 7.8 percent in GDP... compared with 2016," Jennifer Banim, an assistant director general at the Central Statistics Office (CSO), said in a statement.
Unemployment rate falls 2.3 percentage points year-on-year in December to 10.4 pct