Stossel: ‘Serious Freeloaders Should Move to England’

Entitled to a Five Bedroom House

by John Stossel
Fox Business
2/15/2010

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Many of our “leaders” want to make America more like Europe. When President Obama was in Europe, he praised the “social safety net that exists in almost all of Europe that doesn’t exist in the United States.”

Vice president Joe Biden called paying higher taxes “patriotic.”

Europe does have a bigger “social safety net.” But the gain comes with pain: Europe’s higher taxes and bigger government lead to slower job growth and higher unemployment. Politicians always claim that the safety-net will be limited to “necessities for the truly needy,” but such government programs always grow.

An article in today’s UK Daily Mail illustrates how over time, welfare states begin to offer monstrous entitlements:

A single mother-of-six is getting more than £80,000 [$125,000] a year from the taxpayer to live in a £2million mansion in an exclusive London suburb.

Essma Marjam, 34, is given almost £7,000 a month in housing benefits to pay the rent on the five-bedroom villa just yards from Sir Paul McCartney’s house and Lord’s cricket ground.

She also receives an estimated £15,000 a year in other payouts, such as child benefit, to help look after her children, aged from five months to 14.
The four-storey house in Maida Vale has five bedrooms, two bathrooms, a double living room… two large flat-screen televisions …

Welfare fraud? No — the government stands by the payments:

Miss Marjam said: ‘I moved here at the beginning of the month as I’m entitled to a five-bedroom house…’

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John Stossel’s entire article is here.

Richard Littlejohn’s column today asks: Why not give Essma a Harrods account as well as a £2m mansion?:

…Why should an unemployed single mother of six be automatically entitled to a five-bedroom, £2 million home in an exclusive sought-after area?

Or a five-bedroom house anywhere, come to that? Taken to its logical conclusion, any woman who simply carries on having babies could breed herself into a place the size of Buckingham Palace.

Why should hard-pressed British taxpayers continue to subsidise a culture of fecklessness and line the pockets of professional landlords milking the system for all it’s worth?…

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