It is no secret that taxpayer’s hate paying for those that choose to have more children than they can afford. Recent figures have shown that families with nine or more children have cost UK taxpayers £8.6m a year in benefits. New figures released by HMRC have revealed that large families account for £165, 000 in benefits a week, which is an astronomical amount that most taxpayers themselves could never imagine having. The ‘trend’ appears to be catching on, and the number of families claiming benefit for nine children or more has risen in the last year by 3.5% from 1,165 to 1,205 and so now there are 15 households claiming £200 a week for 15 or more children. ‘This increase in larger families is concerning. The cost is not just benefits but in pressure on housing, schools, healthcare and travel’ says chief executive of social research group population matters.
As it stands, child benefit is paid at £20.50 for every older child and £13.55 for every infant, equalling to a healthy sum of £6,775 per year for a nine child household. Campaign manager at the Taxpayer’s alliance defends the angry taxpayer by saying; ‘It’s unfair to expect taxpayers to subsidise a lifestyle for others which they cannot enjoy themselves. Many hard-pressed families are forced to make extremely difficult choices about what they can and can’t afford. Those relying on taxpayer-funded benefits should not be immune from those situations.’
This leads onto the question, are we paying too much to those large families seeking benefit? Channel Five documented the case of mother of twelve Cheryl Prudham, dubbed ‘Britain’s most shameless woman’ who receives £40,000 a year in benefits. She has been heard gloating that £12, 000 of this she uses towards expensive gifts for her children, pictured last Christmas with ex-boyfriend Rob Davies their shopping trollies piled high with presents, it naturally leaves the working taxpayer to beg the question, do they really ‘need’ all of that benefit? Controversially, the Tory party want benefits restricted to the first three children, which would save £300 million a year, whilst Population Matters would like to see a two-child benefit limit, to prevent families from feeling encouraged to have more children, in order to receive more money.
Benefits Street, set to air on Channel 4 on Monday is another insight into the benefit claiming families, and gives taxpayers another insight into where their money is going. Previous episodes of the show hit hard, revealing the harsh realities of life on benefits. The recent benefit cap has made for even harder times, as there is a limit placed on the amount people aged 16-64 can get, with single parents who have their children living with them receiving £500 per week. The cap has caused an outrage as it has forced those previously claiming benefit, to work. A government spokesperson defended the decision for the cap; ‘we are bringing welfare under control, making work pay and ensuring our welfare system is fair to those who use it and those who pay for it.’