money & Banking

Danielle McCarthy

Single mums with up to 12 children claim their Centrelink benefits are not enough

Single mums with up to 12 children claim their Centrelink benefits are not enough

Single mums with up to 12 children are asking the government for more money, claiming they aren’t receiving enough from Centrelink.

In an interview with A Current Affair, the unemployed mothers said the amount they get per child should be increased because it isn’t enough to cover the cost of raising their families.

However, many regard the Australian welfare system as one of the most generous in the world.

One of the women revealed that she receives just under $2,000 a fortnight from her benefits but believes it should be increased to $2,700.

Lisa, a mother of 11 children, also said she was struggling to survive by supporting her large family through Centrelink.

Despite earning more money with every pregnancy, Lisa said it’s still not enough.

The 41-year-old revealed that she receives an average of $183 from Centrelink for each of the five children who still live at home with her.

Pointing to a list of names tattooed on her right arm, she said: “I don't get paid from Centrelink for these children anymore because they've all moved out of home and grown up.”

While pointing to the other list of names printed on her left arm, she explained that she still receives benefits for those children.

Lisa told ACA that she can’t stop falling pregnant, despite trying “all different contraceptives”.

“Nothing worked. I tried getting my tubes tied but they told me I was too young after having five children,” she said.

Doctors recommended that Lisa be put on the waiting list for the surgery, however, she fell pregnant soon after.

Lisa outside her caravan

The Channel Nine show filmed Lisa walking out from her caravan where she lives, with her belongings scattered on the ground.

Wiping away tears, she said she desperately needed more money in order to help her and her children get by.

Cally, who has 12 children between her and her partner, lives in a cramped home, which has the children’s bedrooms separated by curtains.

She said she receives $1,948 a fortnight, with the family spending a third of the money on food.

33-year-old Cally

The 33-year-old wants to be paid $2,700 a fortnight, saying that the amount will allow for her and her children to “just survive”.

Karen Francis, a single mother of nine children, told ACA that she was in a bad financial situation when she fell pregnant.

The 34-year-old has three of her children living with her, while the other five live with her mother.

Centrelink pays Karen $1,000 a fortnight, while her mother receives $3,000.

“Money doesn't last long. As soon as they know you got paid, they're all on you,” she said.  

Agreeing with the other mums, Karen also believes her benefits should be increased.

“I think they need to look at each family individually ... at first you're alright but as more kids come along it seems you struggle a bit more,” she told the program.  

Do you think their Centrelink payments should be increased? Share your thoughts in the comments below.