Mother-in-law slammed: ‘None of her business’
A MUM-of-two has been criticised by her mother-in-law for spending the family's welfare benefits on daily necessities - instead of saving it for her kids' futures.
The unnamed mother recently took to popular parenting site Mumsnet to ask whether she was wrong to spend the government child benefit the family received for their three-year-old and four-month-old children.
According to the UK woman, the benefit was deposited into the couple's joint bank account and was then spent on "daily expenses".
She explained that the cash was "helpful" as she hadn't worked full-time since her first child was born.
But during a family visit, the young mum said her mother-in-law had been shocked to learn the couple were spending the benefit on bills rather than saving it for the future.
"[Mother-in-law] was aghast that we are not saving it up for the children when they are older," the woman began.
"We do save for them but only a small amount per month. Her words were, 'You're not poor so you should be saving it up for their first car or similar.'
"Well no we aren't poor but we aren't rich. I thought child benefit was supposed to help with the cost of raising kids, not be a saving fund for them?"
After asking other forum users if she was being unreasonable in spending the government cash on her family's present needs, some admitted to saving their own benefits.
"We do save ours … we budgeted for kids without the [child benefit] so for us it's not necessary, but if one of us lost our jobs or there was a very large unforeseen bill I wouldn't hesitate to use those savings," one said, while another added: "We do currently save it but only because we can afford to do so."
However, the vast majority of parents criticised the grandmother for her suggestion and said the benefit existed for raising children today - not as a saving fund for adults.
"My opinion is if you can afford to save the child benefit you shouldn't be allowed to claim it as clearly you don't need it. It's not up to the government to provide savings for people, government help should be to make sure the child's current needs are met … Your in-laws are daft," one mum wrote.
Another said: "The point of the money is to help with the costs of raising a child. We don't save ours because we can't afford to but we always make sure it is only spent on something specific for the children be it clothes, uniform, birthday parties etc". Another simply said: "If you can afford to save it you probably shouldn't have it."
Others also slammed the grandmother for interfering.
"What the actual eff does it have to do with her? Don't you just love unsolicited advice?" one posted, while another told the mother the situation was "none of your in-laws' business".
In Australia, parents are entitled to claim a Parenting Payment provided they meet a certain set of criteria including principal carer and residence rules, and income and assets tests.