Is this how the system is supposed to work?

I read something yesterday that made me very cross!

A couple, neither of whom have worked for over 12 years with 8 children, were complaining about their lot in the present financial climate.They live in a 4 bedroom house rent free and receive £800 per week from benefits. This allows them to drive TWO people carriers and have digital TV.

Despite receiving this £42,000 per year from the taxpayer, they apparently were not able to go on holiday. The wife wanted to be re-housed off the council estate as she wanted a better life than she had for her children. Four years ago, they filed for bankcrupcy after being £20,000 in debt.

I am not in a position to check these facts. I saw a photograph of 10 smiling faces and an article that contained quotes from both adults and  figures which could be verified. The mother explained that she did not feel badly about taking money from those who work. The system is there to be used and she is using it – ‘it is her right’. As it is she is unable to make ends meet.

She’s right! The system does allow such a travesty to occur. However, I thought about the couple who have both worked but recently lost their jobs. They are unable to pay the mortgage despite selling their car. They are fearful of the future for their 2 children.

Should the benefit system encourage what I consider to be an irresponsible attitude towards having children?

By the way, the mum in the article is aiming to increase her family to 14!

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12 thoughts on “Is this how the system is supposed to work?

  1. Before I comment Julia, where did you read this? It sounds very much like a spleen splurge from the Mail who specialise in abuses of a system as though they are the norm, and quote selectively. An interesting challenge might be to rewrite it from a different perspective.

  2. In reply to the previous comment – I agree that the DM can make any story fit their own agenda and we don’t necessarily have the full picture on this one. However, there is no disputing that they currently have 8 children and are living with government assistance. I am a single mother who struggles to make ends meet because I work. I would love to have had a sibling for my daughter but I stopped at one because it is irresponsible to have more children than you can afford. With a partner to shoulder the physical responsibility even if we were still financially struggling, I probably would have justified a second child. But 8?! That’s just wrong to expect taxpayers to help you support 8 children.

  3. Horrendous, I’ve worked all my life with just a three year gap when my children were tiny , never claimed any benefit apart from child benefit, and yet I’ll probably die poor.

  4. The government allowing these things makes me much angrier than the people who take advantage. Each have their own story and I wouldn’t swap with them even though me and hubby (both working full time) cannot even afford to rent a two bedroom flat! In France the system is you “earn” a decent amount of benefits. Ie if you have never worked you get barely a penny but if you have worked a number of years and then are made redundant/long term sick you earn a fair bit on benefits based on your payments into the system. This means those made redundant can survive about a year or so without worrying about losing their house etc while they search for new jobs.
    This seems a much more civilised system to me!

  5. The system needs to be there for those who truly need in, but abusers need to be weeded out and penalized. One of my daughters was on Welfare for a time after dibiltating health issues and she worried if she went on she might never get off as the system has a way of sucking you in as well. However, I told her if she wanted to, she would suceed in getting off it but I warned her not to have a child. She is now a happily married, productive mother of 2.

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