Mum of eight claiming £30,000 a year for her brood forks out £2,500 for boob job in Turkey
SHE’S the single mother with eight children who became known as Britain’s ‘ welfare queen’ after boasting on a reality TV show how easy it was to milk the system.
Now ‘Octomum’ Marie Buchan – who claims £30,000 a year in benefits – is sure to spark further outrage by forking out thousands of pounds on a boob job.
The surgery to boost her bust from 34B to 36DD will cost £2,500.
Ms Buchan, who narrowly escaped eviction after running up £4,000 in rent arrears, is flying to Istanbul on January 6 and will have the operation there the next day.
She will then spend three nights in a hotel, paid for by the clinic, and fly back to Britain on the 11th.
Ms Buchan, 36, who lives in a four-bedroom housing association property in Selly Oak, Birmingham, says she raised the money by working as a care assistant and mechanic, and holding car boot sales.
She remains eligible for all her benefits as she works less than 16 hours a week.
Last night she remained defiant, saying: ‘I know the trolls will start having a go at me, but I’m doing this for me and me alone so that I feel more confident.
‘I do not drink or smoke. I don’t go out clubbing. I have been saving for two and a half years from my jobs and boot fairs to raise this money. None of it is being paid for out of my benefits. By going abroad, I have halved the cost.’
Ms Buchan, who has previously had Botox and surgery to create a ‘designer’ vagina, rose to fame four years ago on Channel 5’s Benefits Britain: Life On The Dole, which billed her as the woman who was ‘addicted to getting pregnant’.
By then the relationship with her former partner Cliff, father of her eight children, had buckled under the strain. He now sees his children Tia, 16, Leah, 15, Latoya, 13, Joshua, 12, Alisha, ten, Mikayla, eight, Amelia, six, and four-year-old Olivia at weekends and summer holidays.
As a single mother, Ms Buchan claims handouts of £578 a week – £101 a week child benefit, £435 a week tax credits and £42 a week employment and support allowance.
In an interview for a magazine she admitted: ‘I adored the attention I got when I was expecting and, as I started having more children, my benefits went up, which made it easier to have a good lifestyle.’
She later suggested she was planning to use a surrogate to have more children – and increase her benefits – because after eight chil- dren in 13 years she had been forced to have a hysterectomy.
She admitted life on benefits was ‘easy’, saying she could afford to treat herself and the children. ‘I have more than enough money to pay the bills and feed the kids.
‘I am constantly buying clothes for myself and I like to make sure the kids have nice clothes. I treat them to takeaways weekly and they have all got computer tablets apart from the youngest.’
Three years ago, the former lap dancer trained as a car mechanic, but quit t he profession after encountering ‘ sexism’. Now she works a few hours a day on the minimum wage as a care assistant, supplementing her i ncome by organising car boot sales.
A source said: ‘Marie has been talking about having a breast enhancement for two years, but it was going to cost £5,000 in the UK.
‘She paid her £500 deposit in January and has to pay the balance of £2,000 in cash on the day she arrives at the hospital in Turkey.’
John O’Connell, chief executive of the TaxPayers’ Alliance, said last night: ‘If Ms Buchan has indeed used her salary for this operation, then this is not a problem.
‘ But if some of the incredibly generous benefits provided to her have been used, then taxpayers will be deeply alarmed.’
‘I’VE SAVED UP’: Marie Buchan with her family of eight children. She is having surgery to go from a 34B to a 36DD