"Benefits Britain: Life on the Dole," a British documentary show, is examining how some British people on benefits decide to use their funds. Marie Buchan, a single mother of eight children, is the focal point of a new episode and in it, she is planning extensively for this year’s Christmas celebration. However, unlike most other Christmas celebrations, this one will be paid for by British taxpayers.
Buchan, 32, and her children receive about $3,468 per month in welfare. While many are complaining that Buchan is misusing the funds allocated by the British government, she says: “Everyone deserves a Christmas and why should we on benefits not be able to. For my children not to be able to open a present on Christmas day because we're on benefits, it's just not right, there shouldn't be a stigma for that.”
However, Buchan has spent so much money while buying each child dozens of gift that she is now in debt. She admits that she has trouble with her spending and is behind on her rent payments. However, Buchan lucked out when the British government forgave her rent debt and subsidized a new and larger house for her family. She has been on welfare since she had her first child over 14 years ago.
Buchan had to have a hysterectomy, but vowed to use a surrogate to have more kids in order to collect larger welfare checks. She knows that working is a possibility, but also said, “Is it better to work and neglect the kids or be a stay at home mum till the benefits stop?”
The two other characters featured in the new episode are both drug addicts who fund their addiction through welfare payments of about $155 per week. Steve, a heroin addict, admits: “Somehow it always seems to drop into place and I get what I need. When I get paid, it lasts for a few days, after that I have to go on the graft either by stealing or going through the bins and selling stuff.”