Daily Mail monsters frugal, black, single mother from an estate in Croydon
ROSIE Taylor has read Closer magazine. She has read about Leanna Broderick, an unemployed, black, single mum who brings up two young children on her own in Croydon. So resourceful and selfless is Leanna that she saves the small sums she gets in benefits and is thus able to give her kids a few treats.
Taylor takes a different line:
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.
So much? Or enough to out a bit aside for treats?
Before we get to Leanna, a few words about the writer who damns her:
Rosie set up Ones to Watch as an undergraduate at the University of Sheffield. She has since done an MA in Print Journalism and now works as a national newspaper journalist.
Ones to Watch “showcases the work of the best aspiring journalists in the country and provides an easy way for students and journalists to access the best of the UK’s student media”.
Taylor has talent. She has taken the Mail’s brief – we hate women and like to set them against each other – and run with it. She also looks like she has no children and has never been a black woman living on benefits. Still, a good journalist will show and not tell. She is not a Daily Mail fan with a typewriter. She will be ojective.
One photo is captioned:
Want for nothing: Leanna Broderick (pictured centre with Zelekah, left, and Zakirah) has revealed she receives so much in benefits she has £2,000 to spend on Christmas
Nothing? What about a dad? Private school? A pony?
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.
So. Does she save the money and thus declare that she has savings which can affect your Housing Benefit (HB) or Council Tax Benefit (CTB). This from Merton Council:
Claimants aged under 60
The first £6000 of savings and investments value is not taken into account when calculating HB or CTB. If you are in a residential home this increases to £10,000. We will include a tariff income of £1 for every £250 of savings and investments above this amount (up to a limit of £16000). If you have more than £16000 you will not be entitled to HB or CTB.
She is also buying gold earrings for Zelekah, who has pierced ears…
The child’s ears are relevant? Is piercing a child’s ears a luxury?
…and keeping £300 for the sales and £150 for a New Year’s Eve outing.
So. The single mum saves to buy things in the sales. She is shrewd and frugal:
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.’
After becoming pregnant at 17 with her on-off 23-year-old boyfriend, Miss Broderick was allocated a temporary three-bed council house.
Good. Shame it was only temporary. She could not settle – and with new baby and only 17, that must be hard.
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.’
Good. The taxes pay for a single woman to raise her two children in a clean home. Rejoice. It’s not all bunker busters, troughing politicians and inquiries.
Let’s hope Closer paid the mum for her time.
The money 23-year-old Leanna gets is:
£444.00 in housing benefits per month
£80.00 in council tax benefits per month
£430.00 in child tax credits per month
£132.00 in child benefits per month
£180.00 in single parent benefits per month
£24.00 in milk and vegetable vouchers per month
And from that she saves! This isn’t an advert for scrounging single mums. This is story about austerity. Is Leanna woking for the Government?
Or as Rosie puts it:
She claims she is better off on benefits and would not get a job unless she could continue her luxury lifestyle…
Define luxury. Define lifestyle.