Mum of three tells Closer: “I dumped my children’s father to get more benefits”

Portia Clarke asked her fiancé to move out of the family house because she could claim extra dole money as a single mum.


by Closer staff |
Published on

Mum of three Portia Clarke has never worked a day in her life and splurges her benefits on luxury holidays abroad and clothes.

However, when her factory worker boyfriend and father to her youngest daughter Paul Burke, 24, moved in she was devastated to discover her taxpayer funded income was reduced.

Portia, 34, was no longer a single mum and Paul’s 13K a year wage meant her benefits were slashed by £600.

But incredibly, instead of finding a job herself, she decided to ask Paul to leave so she could return to raking in nearly £17K benefits and have her rent and council tax paid for.

And despite her two-year-old daughter Sienna only seeing her dad on weekends along with the older children Luke, 12, and Tia, 7, from previous relationships, Portia, from Middleton, Manchester, has no regrets.

Portia – who lives comfortably on £1,000 disposable income a month says:

“It sounds heartless, but my life is better now we have split and I’m back on full benefits.

“Our relationship was good and he was a great dad. But after we’d paid our rent I felt like we were scraping by each month. I love buying new dresses every couple of weeks and the latest trainers for the kids - and all that had to go.

Mum of three Portia Clarke has never worked a day in her life
Mum of three Portia Clarke has never worked a day in her life

“I told Paul we could carry on seeing each other if he moved out, but he wouldn't. All the children call Paul Dad and they do miss him but they see him regularly.

Now I can treat myself to nights out, new outfits and stay in five star resorts. "

Portia speaks out as it is estimated there are 1.6 million single mums in the UK. And experts fear that number could increase under the current benefits system.

Andy Silvester, Campaign Manager at The Taxpayers' Alliance, says: "It’s no surprise people are breaking up with their partners when there are financial incentives to do so. The benefits system is full of loopholes and allowances, it’s clear it needs radical reform to make sure this sort of abuse doesn't become more widespread:”

You can read more about Portia’s story in this week’s issue of Closer, on sale now.

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