– Unemployed single mother on benefits who spends £2,000 on Christmas with 20 presents for each of her children (Daily Mail, Dec 11, 2012):
While many families are worrying about how to afford Christmas this year, one jobless single mother has revealed she receives so much in benefits she has £2,000 to spend on designer gifts, clothes and partying.
Mother-of-two Leanna Broderick plans to buy 20 presents for each of her children, including Burberry and Ralph Lauren outfits, iPads and gold jewellery.
The 20-year-old, who has never worked, claims nearly £15,500 a year in state handouts.
She claims she is better off on benefits and would not get a job unless she could continue her luxury lifestyle, which includes designer outfits, holidays abroad, clubbing, lunches out and expensive gifts for her daughters Zelekah, two, and Zakirah, one.
‘Last year, I saved £2,500 and my kids had 50 presents each, including Burberry and Ralph Lauren clothes and dolls, DVDs and CDs.
‘This year, I’ve saved £2,000 and they’ll get 20 presents each, including iPads and a new Disney-themed bedroom to share, with designer wall art and bed linen,’ she said.
She is also buying gold earrings for Zelekah, who has pierced ears, and keeping £300 for the sales and £150 for a New Year’s Eve outing.
Miss Broderick, who left school at 16 with no GCSEs, said: ‘I don’t care if people get annoyed. I don’t take advantage, I just choose to save – it’s smart.’
She said there was ‘no point’ earning less in a minimum wage job and having to pay for childcare on top.
After becoming pregnant at 17 with her on-off 23-year-old boyfriend, Miss Broderick was allocated a temporary three-bed council house.
When Zelekah was eight months old she considered working in care, but then became pregnant again by the same man.Now split from the girls’ father, she has a new two-bedroom council flat in Croydon, South London, with a garden, which is paid for by her £111 weekly housing benefit – part of £1,290 a month total claim.
She said: ‘I didn’t want to miss out on my kids’ childhoods or have someone else raise them. I’m not one of those girls who gets pregnant for the benefits.’
The money for Christmas comes from the £250 she saves each month, which she said shows she is ‘really responsible’.
She adds: ‘Anyone who thinks people on benefits don’t deserve nice things is talking rubbish. I work 24/7 as a mother.
‘This way, taxpayers know I’m raising two well-brought-up kids.’
But she admits Christmas might not be so lavish next year because of the Government’s benefit cuts.
‘I’m not against the cuts, but only if the Government helps me find a job,’ she said.
‘In the meantime, I’ll stay on benefits and get as much as I can out of it.’