A Yorkshire family who claim £50,000 in benefits every year are complaining that they do not get enough in state handouts.
The family, which spans three generations, receive thousands a month in benefits payments. But according to a Channel 5 documentary, they say they should be entitled to even more money.
Many of the Kerrigan clan, who live in Sheffield, start claiming benefits as soon as they leave school, not bothering to get a job and contribute to the British economy as the people who pay their benefits have to do.
Mother of five Rose Kerrigan claims £740 a month in income and child support and says she has not been able to hold down a full time job in years.
Speaking as part of the documentary, called ‘My Big Benefits Family’, she blames the amount of money unemployed people are given for their criminal behaviour.
“I think it’s pathetic, I’ll be honest with you. This is why people go out pinching and shoplifting because they can’t live on [benefits].
“If they got enough benefits they wouldn’t need to go out and do things like that.”
But her claims did not correlate with the spending habits of her nephew Robert, who admits that he spends as much as £600 a year on trainers alone.
Far from using his money to fund essentials or follow healthy hobbies and pursuits, the 24 year old uses his state payments to maintain his three mopeds.
Despite being in his mid twenties, Robert is already a father of four and admits he uses his benefits cash to pay child maintenance to the mothers of his children.
“I think it’s all right for me really. My benefits pay my maintenance for my kids. I treat my girlfriend with clothes and trainers and that.
“I wouldn’t be bothered if I had holes in my shoes so long as my kids look nice and are healthy.
And his irresponsible attitude didn’t just stop at spending money on luxury and fashion items, saying “At the end of the day it’s my money. If I skint myself then that’s up to me.
“In the last year I’ve spent £600 on trainers,” he admitted. “The most I’ve ever spent on a pair is about £130.”
While the three generations of the family live in three separate houses, they spend much of their time together.
With an income equal to the salary a hard-working couple in a teaching or nursing job might manage to take home each year, before taxes are deducted, the Kerrigan family is sure to continue the debate on how despite reforms, choosing not to work and living off the state still manages to be a legitimate lifestyle choice for many in Britain.
The family live between three houses but spend much of their time together.