A mother of eight children from Birmingham, England, has shared her experience living on benefits with several TV hosts.
After becoming well known for being gifted a four-bedroom home, Marie Buchan is speaking out about the ways that benefits provides her with an “easy option” to take care of her eight children. Buchan receives about $45,000 in benefits, but as a $38,000 benefit cap has been instituted, she is required to work part-time in order to continue receiving the full $45,000.
The 33-year-old is working part-time as a mechanic and a care worker, which allows her to access the entire scope of benefits.
“She’s had a lot of stick for not working – now she’s got two jobs,” said Barry Tomes, Buchan’s agent, as reported by the Birmingham Mail. “Hopefully she’ll get more work at the garage, it’s what she wants to do."
"I’m not going to have to worry anymore," Buchan said. "All I’ve got to do is work Friday ’til Sunday."
A typical worker would need to earn more than $89,000 before taxes in order to obtain the same amount of disposable income as Buchan.
Myleene Klass, who is hosting a series called "Single [Moms] On Benefits," is the latest celebrity to get a peek into Buchan’s life. She explained that claiming benefits after having children is relatively simple.
"It’s an easy option," Buchan said. "You obviously have a baby, you send off the application form, birth certificate, they assess it and then you've got your money in your account. It is very easy."
Klass, who is also a single mother, created the series as a way to change the perception of single parents who receive financial government assistance.
"This for me was not only to debunk the wrongful general perception of the term single [mom], but to also send it out as a firework, a celebration, a great big thank you to the men and women pulling double duty, and doing it with dignity, through thick and thin," Klass said. "I couldn't be more proud to be a single [mom]. It has been the making of me."
Although Buchan is the target of much hate mail and abuse, she is very proud of her family and the way her kids support each other.
"I am very optimistic and always looking forward and I want to thank Myleene for being such a wonderful house guest," she said.