Netizens Criticize Mother Who ‘Gets Too Much Welfare Money’

Netizens are critical of a mother of two who gets 290,000 yen per month in social security payments.

Social security payments in Japan have made the news once again. This time, an article published in the print-edition of the Asahi Shimbun has created an online uproar because it featured a mother of two who is struggling on 290,000 yen (approximately $3026) of social security payments every month to bring up her two children.

Needless to say, netizens have been harsh on the woman, pointing out that the payments she recieves are not only more generous than the wages of some hard-working salarymen, but that the way she spends the money is also somewhat indulgent.

The article below discusses the online reaction to the Asahi Shimbun article, demonstrating how much of a stir the issue has caused in online communities in Japan.

Do you think netizens have a point? Or are they underestimating how much it costs to bring up two children as a single mother?


Doubts Over Asahi Shimbun Article in Which Mother of Two Pleads ‘It’s Difficult to Get By Even With 290,000 Yen of Social Security Payments’

‘It’s so hard to bring up two children on the 290,000 yen monthly social security benefit without it making you feel inferior.’ But more and more people are dubious of the Asahi Shimbun Osaka Edition article that featured the 41-year old mother from Osaka who made this complaint.

The article, entitled ‘Living With Poverty’, was featured prominently on the lifestyle pages of the newspaper’s morning edition on March 6 2013.

40,000 Yen on Classes, 20,000 Yen on Clothes…

According to the article, the mother divorced her husband in July 2012, and is living in rented accommodation with her daughter (14) who is in the second year of middle school, and her son (11), who is in the fifth year of elementary school. However, the woman says it’s difficult for her to go out to work despite receiving no child support, since her daughter tends to play truant at school.

She was able to receive over 290,000 yen in social security benefits with on the recommendation of a judicial scrivener. The mother copes on this sum of money every month, excluding the 50,400 yen rent costs.

Looking at her housekeeping accounts from December 2012, it was remarkable that she spent 40,000 yen per month on leisure costs, such as classes. Her eldest daughter does gymnastics, and her son takes baseball lessons, and the money disappears on monthly class fees and equipment costs, uniform costs, and transport costs for these leisure activities.

Furthermore, there are expenditures such as 20,000 yen for clothing, and 11,000 yen for entertainment. Her expenditures on mobile phone costs were enormous at 206,000 yen, but she explained that this was due to the penalty for ending her child’s mobile phone contract early, and due to her own search for work. Still, she paid a further 2,000 yen for her landline.

Since she allows the children to take classes, she scrimps on food costs of less than 1,500 yen per day, and these stay at 43,000 yen per month. But she spent a separate 7,000 yen on snacks.

Still, the woman had 15,380 yen spare at the end of the month. It seems that this will go toward the 10.000 to 30,000 yen per month that she saves saves in preparation for her daughter to go on to high school.

The mother explained that she no longer eats out, and that she saves on heating and air-conditioning by only using it in one room for the three of them.

Didn’t the Asahi Shimbun Journalist Wonder that the Mother was ‘Highly-Paid’?

It appears that this mother even felt that guilty that she was receiving social security, but waves of online comments say that she is receiving too much in the way of payments.

‘She could get by on half of what she spends on mobile phones and leisure activities. And what are ‘entertainment costs’? Booze costs? w

I’d understand it when the seasons change, but is it necessary to spend as much as 20,000 yen on clothes every month?’

‘15,000 yen left over…I mean, doesn’t that just mean that they can reduce the amount she gets by 15,000 yen?’

Comments like this came one after another, and there was also the suggestion that if she can afford to spend several tens of thousands of yen on classes and so on, then she’d start to feel that there was no need for her to work. There were also criticisms of the Asahi Shimbun terming the woman’s case ‘poverty’, with people asking why the overpaid journalist didn’t even notice that the women as getting too much money and spending too much money.

Under the social welfare division of the Osaka prefectural government, there is an additional supplement for mothers and children of 25,100 yen, and they recognised that because of this it is possible for a mother to receive close to 300,000 yen. However, with regards to questions over whether the woman is spending too much on leisure activities, the division simply stated that ‘That is not something we can answer’. They said that there is no limit on someone having both a mobile phone and a landline, and that it is not a problem for someone to save their social security money in preparation for a household appliance breaking down, and so on.

Having said that, while the welfare division of the Ministry of Health, Welfare and Labour says that the way people spend their money is up to them, they also indicated that if the number of classes and so on was excessive, it was possible that a case worker could be assigned to investigate. The ministry added that this is done so that food expenditure and so on is prioritised.

The ministry said that they were looking to decrease the level of social security in phases from August 1 2013 for a period of three years, and that in the case of this mother there was the prospect that the amount she receives would be reduced by more than 3,000 yen in the first phase of reductions. In the final phase of reductions this would be a decrease of 8,000 yen, but the welfare division stated that ‘If a mother is working, then it is possible that neither would be reduced. Because of self-reliance, we are considering the introduction of a work-exemption at the same time.’

Comments from Yahoo! Japan:


If she got divorced at her own convenience then why is the state picking up the tab? There are plenty of people who are working as hard as they can but who are earning less than 200,000 yen per month!!! If you can’t bring up your kids then don’t get divorced! Put yourself in the position of the people who are working and paying taxes. You shouldn’t be doing this!!!!! Just try harder!!!!!!


What the hell is she spending it on to say that it’s difficult to live on 290,000 yen per month?


What the hell, 290,000 yen per month? And 40,000 on classes! When I work every day with no vacation, and can still hardly afford my daughter’s cram school fees! I think we should get rid of this system where the worker ants have no luck but the crickets are having a great life.


So her daughter is always bunking off school but still gets to go to gymnastics…?


Are you fucking kidding me? 290,000 yen is way too much! What the hell are these classes? These days salarymen are earning less that that! Stop fucking around!


You can live a pretty luxurious life on 290,00 yen per month! How can she be so spoilt? Is it because of the entertainment fees and the various classes her two kids are taking? She has no understanding of the basic definition of social security. Social security payments are to ensure a basic standard of living. Transport costs and uniform fees are indulgent…idiot! ‘I can’t work because it’ll have a psychological effect on my kids’. A spoilt, middle-aged woman like that needs to get out to work.


I don’t think that everyone who gets social security is like this welfare generation who feel that ‘it’s reasonable to get handouts’…but I wonder if they’ve ever thought about the trouble they’re causing for people who really are living in poverty because it’s that sort of decadent person who gets talked about?


Pretty indulgent woman.


‘Osaka mother (41)’ Doesn’t this woman have a more stable income than a salaryman working for a small to medium size business, at the very worst? And this also makes me suspicious that there might be zainichi on Asahi’s side.


The way she’s spending money is wrong.

szmb(su z…)さん:

40,000 yen on classes and 20,00 yen clothes allowance, entertainment fees are 11,000 yen and then the mobile phone bill is 26,000 yen. Then of course there are snack costs of 7,000 yen. So we can cut this woman’s social security payments by a total of 104,000 yen. That gives her 186,000 yen after taxes. There are plenty of three-person families living on incomes far lower than that. At least the welfare generation get free medical care, free NHK, free school trips…there are loads of fringe benefits. That’s just crazy.


This makes me extremely angry. There are a lot of families where the mother can’t work, has two kids, and is getting by on 200,000 yen per month. If this woman doesn’t like it, then get a job to realise your luxurious lifestyle, even if it means whoring yourself. Be grateful that you can live without working because of the tax of the people of this country! We shouldn’t allow her to have a better life than people who are working diligently.


What the hell is this 26,000 yen mobile phone bill! That’s spending way too much, even if she does have two kids.


There are so many people who are trying their hardest on tens of thousands of yen per month, and they’re working, too. If she’s taking home 290,000 yen after tax, then this generation of single mothers are high-earners.


She has no right to a mobile phone. And the classes, heating, air-conditioning — no need for them. She is a burden on society, and so she should feel guilty, and live humbly. And those who work in the media are definitely getting on average more than 1,500,000 yen per year, so they have no idea how ordinary people feel.


What about maintenance fees from her ex-husband? If she’s getting those, then they can’t allow her to get 290,000 yen in social security.


Give me a fucking break! It seems like she’s got some kind of righteousness because she’s bringing up two kids, but aside from ‘divorced with kids’ now there are plenty of people in her generation who are barely getting by every day while bearing the cost of care for their elderly relatives!! And no matter how hard those people try, payingcare costs where there is no end in sight, they don’t get a single yen in ‘elderly care cost benefits’!!(`ε´)

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