Yeah, I know, it’s The Sun. Sorry about that. If you can’t face clicking on it, it’s a morally outraged article about a despicable Lithuanian single mum, who is milking Britain for benefits and laughing at us all from her fully-furnished 2-bed flat.
‘The graduate, who became a single mum after she arrived here, rakes in more than £1,000 a month in handouts — £14,508 a year — to fund her love of designer clothes, jaunts to the Spanish sun and nightclubbing.’
Gasp! They even helpfully provide a handy breakdown of the cash she’s ‘raking in’:
Then it goes on to say that ‘she also rakes in £125-a-week from a job she has on the side — perfectly LEGALLY… She is careful to work fewer than 16 hours a week so that the benefits keep rolling in… On top of that she gets free childcare, fruit and milk vouchers — and even a clothes allowance for “job interviews”.’
Hmm. Let’s just look at all that shall we. She works less than 16 hours a week, so she isn’t getting Working Tax Credits, only Child Tax Credits, which she’d also get if she wasn’t working. She’s not claiming Income Support which she could be doing as she’s a single mum whose youngest child is under school age. She’s getting Housing Benefit and Council Tax Benefit, but she never sees that money herself as it’s paid to her landlord and into her Council tax account. Take those two figures off the amount in the table above and you’re left with £76 in ‘benefits’ per week (Child Tax Credit isn’t a benefit, but this is Sun Land) on top of her wage of £125, so that’s an after housing costs income of £201 per week. £10,452 per year to support herself and her daughter. Hardly rich. How she’s supposedly funding trips to Spain and designer clothes out of that I don’t know.
She is eligible for fruit and milk vouchers, otherwise known as Healthy Start tokens, because she has a child under four years old and a household income of less than £16,190. This is generally perceived to be a Good Thing, because it prevents little children from getting scurvy and rickets because their parents can’t afford to feed them properly. Clearly that’s a dangerously socialist attitude to take to child poverty, but there we are.
Then we come to the ‘free childcare and a clothes allowance for job interviews’. Sorry guys, but this is total made-up guff. Because she’s working less than 16 hours a week, she’s not eligible for Tax Credit childcare help, so the only ‘free childcare’ she’s getting is the same as anyone else living in the UK with a three year old child gets, that is a 2.5hr per weekday, term-time only place at a council-funded nursery. They make it sound as if she is sitting at home doing her nails and watching Jeremy Kyle while her kid is in private nursery 9-5 every day at taxpayers’ expense. And she can’t get a clothes allowance for job interviews unless she’s claiming Income Support or JSA, which we’ve already established she isn’t.
On top of all this, it turns out the woman in the article is actually an actress
which does rather make you wonder if the whole bloody thing is made up. To be honest I don’t really care if it is though, the language used makes it clear that it’s no longer ‘good enough’ to work part-time if you’re a single mum, even with kids under school age. Being a single mum and working anything less than full-time and earning enough not to need to claim tax credits on top (ha! Impossible dream…) officially and automatically qualifies you as a drain on the state in these people’s eyes. Anyone would think being a single mother is a crime.