Friday September 21,2012
By Mark Reynolds
BRITAIN's soft touch benefits system was laid bare yesterday after it emerged a Latvian mother-of-10 rakes in £34,000 a year in state handouts – and is now demanding a bigger house.
Single mother Linda Kozlovska, moved to the UK in 2008 from European Union nation Latvia with three children but gradually her brood has grown to 10.
As a result, she now pulls in a staggering £34,000 a year in state benefits – far more than she would get in her home country and £13,000 more than a newly qualified nurse who is paid just £21,000.
Ms Kozlovska, 31, says her rented property, which is maintained by the council, is now not big enough and
she is demanding a bigger house.
From the three-bedroom home in Boston, Lincolnshire, the selfemployed cleaner said:
“I have 10 children living here with me. I’m the only adult. I am on the council waiting list, but we’re still here.
“I want a bigger house. I don’t like it here. When we moved in it had bed bugs.”
She admitted that she benefits from state handouts, all paid for by the British taxpayer.
“I have working tax credits, child tax credits and child benefits,” she explained.
“Per week, I get a total of £527 child tax credit and working tax credit. I get £127 child benefit.”
The £654 weekly total means the family receives £34,000 a year.
Matthew Sinclair, chief executive of the TaxPayers’ Alliance, said:
“This is a shocking example of how the UK’s membership of the European Union has rendered us powerless to prevent those from other EU nations taking advantage of the British welfare system.
“Proper controls should be in place to prevent benefits tourism from swallowing up British taxpayers’ money, but EU rules leave ministers at Westminster unable to do anything about it.
“Regardless of whether claimants are British or not, any system which provides subsidies worth tens of thousands a year to a family of 10 children is in serious need of reform.
“It’s simply not fair on other taxpayers making responsible choices about their own families to force them to pick up the bill for those who seem to believe they are entitled to endless hand-outs.”
If Ms Kozlovska had remained in Latvia, she would have received just £9.26 per child each month.
Latvian couples can claim up to £1,865 per baby, but once the children reach 18 months old, the benefits payments immediately and radically drop.
Ms Kozlovska’s costly clan now consists of Russandra, 16, Liene, 13, Julian 12, Sandija, 11, Marko, 10, Janis, eight, Diana, seven, Rolands, four, and twins Edvard and Alan, three.
The three youngest were born in Britain, while others joined her from Latvia.
She told how easy it had been to take up residency here. “I came to England to live – because we are from Latvia in the EU, I could just come,” Ms Kozlovska said.
The children currently share the three bedrooms and a mattress in the living room creates more sleeping space.
She refused to divulge how many men fathered the children, but admitted she is now single.
Last night the owner of the terrace property confirmed the council was helping to maintain it, while Ms Kozlovska waited to be housed in a bigger home.
A council spokesman said: “Boston borough council is working with the family and the landlord to address a number of relatively minor disrepair items, at the landlord’s expense. The tenant’s financial matters are of course private and personal to them.”
He added: “In common with most councils Boston does have other large families on its housing waiting list awaiting larger accommodation, but this family is at the upper end of the spectrum.”
Work and Pensions Secretary Iain Duncan Smith was asked yesterday how the new system of Universal Credit, due from next year, would make a difference in such cases.
He said: “I don’t know the full details of this case. I’m happy to look at what’s going on. But it could be a combination of different things.
"Housing benefit is critical, and the number of children.”
He stressed the new £26,000-a-year per household benefit cap is to ensure claimants could not get more than a worker on average earnings.
“Generally, our reforms will flatten things (benefit payments) and make that sort of case far less likely in future,” he said.
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