Radio Sandwell Local News

Mum-of-eight Marie Buchan fears being made homeless by benefits cap

2015-07-08 23:15:19

Marie BuchanMarie Buchan with her eight kids

Single mum-of-eight Marie Buchan - who rakes in £26,000-a-year in benefits - fears she will lose her home under the £20,000 welfare cap revealed in the Budget.

Birmingham’s most controversial mother said the chancellor’s new measure would leave her enormous family on the breadline and, potentially, out on the street.

“There are nine of us to feed and we are not living in luxury,” said the jobless 33-year-old.

“There’s not a lot left now.”

The £20,000 welfare limit was among the measures announced by George Osborne in the first Tory-only Budget for 18 years.

But Marie said she was already behind with her rent and a £6,000 benefit drop would see her kicked out of her taxpayer-funded, four-bedroom home.

She said she already had one possession order – a document giving her landlord the right to evict her – against her name.

A £20,000 benefit ceiling would probably lead to another and see her children made homeless, she added.

Marie – dubbed Britain’s “welfare queen” – previously fuelled the storm over her massive family by revealing her hopes of having a ninth child with a surrogate.

But she told the Mail that another baby was not an option.

“Eight is more than enough to care for,” she said.

Marie lives in a house rented from Bournville Village Trust with her children Tia, 13, Leah, 12, Latoya, ten, Joshua, nine, Alisha, six, Mikayla, five, Amelia, three, and Olivia, aged 21 months.

Her £26,000 annual benefits package is composed of council tax, child benefit, child tax, income support and housing benefit of 50p a week.

It works out at around £500 a week, from which she pays rent of £137.

Marie, who insisted she wanted to work, said £200 of the remaining £363 was swallowed up by food shopping and she also had to pay her utility and other bills.

She said she worked a 21-hour day caring for her children, rising at 6am and not going to bed until 3am, watched every penny and scoured eBay, car boot sales and charity shops for bargains.

“What really gets to me is I have had so much hate from over the world,” she said.

“People say I’m lazy and take, take, take.

“But I’m a mum of eight who is under the cap and works hard raising my eight children – a full-time job on its own.”

Marie said she used to work as a cleaner but had to quit because of issues with getting her children ready in the mornings.

She also attended a course for an NHS job but was told she could not take up her place as her youngest child would not be entitled to childcare.

Marie said she had been advised that her benefits cap would be removed if she worked 16 hours a week – allowing her the maximum state help with rent, council tax and childcare.

“I really want to work, but right now no-one is willing to help in any way,” she said.

“All I’m being told is to wait until my youngest is five.

“Working 16 hours will help me so much – yet I will be taking more from the state by working through (help with) rent, childcare and council tax.

“Right now I’m not getting any help, even though I’ve tried every angle possible.”

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