Belfast Telegraph

Home Opinion Letters

We don't owe this single mum a living

Radio Ulster's Nolan Show this week featured a single mother who was outraged that, after 21 years on benefits, she was being obliged to find a job.

Her spurious objection to this was that she had a 14-year-old son and she might not be there when he got home from school.

Does the irony of her situation not occur to her? Namely, that others (including mothers) are working to support her?

This woman informed listeners that she has three children in total. As an incredulous listener, I wanted to ask her some pertinent questions, but didn't get the opportunity.

I would therefore pose the questions here, as they apply to many like her.

Over 21 years, why produce three children that you cannot support? Why expect other people to take financial responsibility for your children? My husband and I had only the number of children we could afford to raise - it's a simple mathematical equation.

Society has been much too indulgent of women who irresponsibly have children and look to the state to keep them. We are all paying a very heavy price for this, on all levels.

I am conscious that, for some women, domestic situations change. However, even then, women should not be encouraged to sit back, play the victim and be bailed out.

Life may become harder, but it is possible to adapt and be largely self-reliant (I have some experience of this).

Increasingly, diligent, socially responsible individuals are becoming exasperated and furious at the self-indulgent, grasping mentality of those who think that society (to which they contribute nothing) owes them a living.


Ballynahinch, Co Down


From Belfast Telegraph