The outrage over a British mother collecting nearly $52,000 in government benefits per year because she has 12 children has prompted a fellow U.K. citizen to start a petition calling for a sanction on the woman’s benefits (video below).
During an interview on Britain's “This Morning,” Cheryl Prudham of Lancashire, England, admitted to receiving nearly $52,000 a year in benefits for her 12 children, and that by working 16 hours per week, she manages to avoid the cap on benefits that would be set at $33,700 per year.
Prudham said working a part-time job is difficult because of the time it takes away from her 12 children, but she plans to have another baby -- and expects the government will pay benefits for the child.
“I don’t make up the rules at the end of the day, I’m not the government. So I’ve not said, ‘Oh you could have so much in benefits.’ Obviously, if that’s what they are giving me I’m gonna take it,” she said. “So if I can have another child and the government’s allowing me to do that, I’m gonna do that.”
Prudham plans to use a sperm donor for child number 13 because she does not want a man in her life, just another baby.
She admits to being “addicted to having babies,” but blames the government for the number of children she has because of the benefits it offers.
“It’s the government’s fault I’ve got so many kids, it’s easy to claim benefits,” Prudham said.
But the money she receives in government benefits is not solely being used to care for her children. Prudham has used it to purchase expensive handbags, and is considering having a breast augmentation.
Her plan to use government benefits for cosmetic surgery is what prompted Siobhan Titzell of Saint Mary’s Bay to start a petition on Change.org to stop Prudham’s benefits.
“I as a UK tax payer was absolutely disgusted hearing that mum of 12 Cheryl Prudham was wanting baby 13 so she could claim extra benefits to have cosmetic surgery on her breast’s,” Titzell wrote in the petition. “Last I checked benefits are there to support those in need, not for plastic surgery procedures!”
Titzell wants the nearly $52,000 Prudham receives in benefits to be put back into the system to fund National Health Service research, or help those who need benefits because they cannot work through “no fault of their own.”
“[Prudham] works under 16 hours so that she avoids the benefits cap so she is clearly fit to work whilst others are not so fortunate,” she wrote.
Titzell also suggests the money could help families who want to have a child with fertility treatment costs.
“There are families up and down the country that are crying out for children and are having to either save every penny they have for IVF or sadly give up trying because they can't afford treatment or have suffered heartbreak due to a miscarriage where as this woman is using these children as a selfish weapon for her own gain,” she wrote.
Titzell is calling for an end to Prudham’s abuse of the system, and the more than 15,000 people who have signed the petition agree.
Prudham said in the "This Morning" interview that she understands how people could be annoyed with her situation, but she does not make the rules and is therefore not to blame.
“I’m not gonna be sorry about that,” she said of taking advantage of the system.
If the petition receives 100,000 signatures it will be sent to former Prime Minister David Cameron for review.