Sin­gle mo­ther-of-eight th­re­a­tens to go back on be­ne­fits

Times of Suriname - - ENGELS -

ENG­LAND - A sin­gle mo­ther-of-eight said she could be for­ced back on to the do­le due to the hu­ge cost of her child­ren’s school din­ner mo­ney.

Ma­rie Buchan, 33, from We­o­ley Cast­le, Bir­ming­ham, said she would be bet­ter off staying at ho­me on be­ne­fits ra­ther than wor­king 16 hours a week as a ca­rer.

The for­mer lap dancer said the £80 wee­kly cost of school din­ners for her enor­mous brood me­ant she was wor­se off by wor­king.

Ms Buchan spo­ke as the govern­ment pre­pa­red to lo­wer the be­ne­fit cap - the to­tal amount that can be clai­med by most pe­o­p­le of wor­king age - from £26,000 to £20,000 from next Mon­day. Op­po­nents of the con­tro­ver­si­al mo­ve ha­ve clai­med it will hit Bri­tain’s most vul­ne­ra­ble fa­mi­lies as the cap is usu­al­ly ap­plied through a cut in hou­sing be­ne­fit. Ms Buchan told Ra­dio 5 Li­ve that she would lo­se £6,000. She said: ‘I ha­ve been told I will be bet­ter off if I don’t work un­til my youn­gest daugh­ter turns fi­ve. I work 16 hours a week as a ca­rer, get­ting paid the mi­ni­mum wa­ge of £7.50. ‘But I ha­ve to pay for school meals which costs me £80 per week. I would be bet­ter off not wor­king. Lo­sing £6,000 is go­ing to ha­ve a hu­ge ef­fect on my­self and my child­ren.’ She al­so ad­mit­ted she would not ha­ve had so ma­ny child­ren had she known how hard she would ha­ve to strug­gle. She said: ‘It is eve­ry pa­rent’s right to ha­ve as ma­ny child­ren as they want but I wouldn’t ha­ve had so ma­ny if I had known how dif­fi­cult it would be.’ Her child­ren are aged 13 to two and ha­ve the sa­me fa­ther, who looks af­ter them while she works week­ends. The be­ne­fits cap cut was an­noun­ced last year by for­mer chan­cel­lor Ge­or­ge Os­bor­ne. Ms Buchan la­ter fell in­to £4,000 of rent ar­re­ars but was spa­red evic­ti­on from her Bourn­vil­le Vil­la­ge Trust ho­me. As well as wor­king, she at­tends a me­cha­nics cour­se three days a week at Bourn­vil­le Col­le­ge and even­tu­al­ly ho­pes to set up a mo­bi­le me­cha­nic bu­si­ness ai­med at wo­men.

(dai­lymail.co.uk)

Ma­rie Buchan and her child­ren.

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