DEFIANT mum has defended splurging £2,000 on Christmas gifts for her six kids — insisting: “Just because we’re on benefits shouldn’t mean they miss out.”
Married Claire Young sparked fury earlier this week when she bragged on telly that she could afford to snap up 11 presents for each of her brood without working a single day of the year.
Solent News Angry Twitter users branded the mum-of-six Claire as ‘greedy’ and ‘vile’ for revealing she’d put away £50 of her benefits each month to spend on the kids’ presents
Angry Twitter users called her “greedy” and “vile” after she revealed she received enough money in handouts to put aside a whopping £50 per week, leaving her with a healthy pot of cash to use over the festivities.
But ex-barmaid Claire, who hasn’t worked since 2012 because she has a painful condition called fibromyalgia, hit back at her critics.
She said: “No one has the right to tell me how to spend my benefits. I’m very fair and make sure my kids get 11 presents each — 66 between them.
“When I add in the rest of my family’s gift too, that’s 100 gifts. We live on the breadline, so anyone who has an opinion can bugger off.
Solent News Claire, pictured with kids Kayla, Lucy and Steven, says she saves her benefits to buy Xmas gifts Benefits mum Claire Young defends decision to spend £2,000 on Christmas presents for her kids
“It’s our money and we spend and save it well and the kids benefit. I’m proud I can make Christmas special for my kids.”
Claire, 29, who lives in Hampshire with ex-bricklayer husband Trevor, was blasted by viewers who watched her on ITV’s This Morning.
Some complained that many hardworking families would struggle to provide such a lavish Christmas. And one said: “I’d like to think she could donate some pre- sents to kids who’ll have nothing.”
But Claire said: “My kids love Christmas and just because we’re on benefits shouldn’t mean they miss out. I don’t tell people who work how to spend their money, so people who work shouldn’t tell me how to spend mine.
“The benefits system is there for when people like me hit hard times.
Solent News Out-of-work Claire has bought around 100 presents for family members
“We go without over the summer holidays and I have one pair of shoes so I can save for Christmas for my children.
“I want to go back to work, but it’s currently better for us not to as we wouldn’t make enough. I don’t drink, I don’t go out every weekend, I don’t take drugs, I hardly buy anything. Everything is for the children.”
Claire’s children are Steven, 11, Lisa, nine, Lucy, seven, Jamie, six, Kayla, five and 22-month-old Evie.
This year’s gifts include a PS4 video games console plus games, DC Superhero Girl toys, Lego, clothes, dolls and a Peppa Pig Farm.
Anyone who has an opinion can just bugger off
To afford her luxury Christmas, Claire budgets £300 per child, with a total of £1,800 on gifts alone.
When she adds in food, games and drink she says the cost comes in at more than £2,500 every year.
Yet she added: “I refuse to be criticised for spending and saving this money. People have no right to look down their noses at us or demand we spend the money the way they want.
ITV/This Morning Claire Young appeared on This Morning to defend her choice to spend £2,000 of her benefits money on Christmas presents
“I will defend everyone on benefits who is trying like me to make Christmas special.”
Claire, whose fibromyalgia causes chronic fatigue, went on: “I challenge those attacking me to live my life for a week, to swap lives and then tell me I’m wrong to save money to ensure my children have a good Christmas.
“Anyone on benefits is entitled to spend the cash on what they want — whether that’s a holiday, designer clothes or gifts for their kids.
ITV/This Morning Claire told hosts Holly and Phil that she saved carefully throughout the year
“My kids deserve to be spoilt. I always splash out on their birthday too, these events are important for children. Why should I deprive them just because I can’t work?
“My kids take part in beauty pageants too. I spend money on making sure they look good on stage, it’s good for their confidence.”
The family’s handouts include £1,040-a-month housing benefit, child benefit, income support and a carer’s allowance for Trevor, 27.
Here’s what Claire spent benefits on to buy gifts for her six kids Lego Claire has treated her kids to the likes of sought after Ninjago Lego sets Claire faced a backlash after using benefits to buy a PS4 games console
He said: “I’m proud of the way we’ve learned to save. We have to super-careful and we’re debt-free.
“Using the special Christmas saving plan means we don’t have to worry about finding extra cash at that time of year. If I have to go without or don’t have new clothes, I’ll do it.
“Nothing can beat the kids’ faces when they open their gifts. It’s our cash and if we choose to go without so we can have a nice Christmas don’t criticise us.”
It ain’t your money love. It’s tax payers money #thismorning and they have a right to judge what you spend it on
— hells (@Hellsbeg1) December 13, 2017
But MPs hit out at the spending spree.
Tory Alec Shelbrooke said: “Once again we see someone boasting of achieving things with taxpayers’ cash which the hard-working person next door can only dream of.
“Constant reform of the benefits system is necessary so people who work hard to support their families and contribute to society are at least on the same playing field.
“They will be appalled by those apparently playing our social security system for a fool.”
There are many people who work really hard and have no spare cash after bills and groceries have been paid for. Questioning how someone can put £50 aside each week when they’re on benefits seems quite reasonable #ThisMorning
— Beckie-Mae (@Beckie_Miller_) December 13, 2017