Britain rolls out the red carpet for Muslim migrants from Afghanistan
But she moans the house it too big to heat!
WELCOME to the amazing luxury world of the Afghan benefits family in the Â£1.2million mansion.
And we can reveal that despite having a home groaning with state of the art goodies, they are STILL moaningâ€”because they can’t afford a trip to meet Mickey Mouse.
Afghan mother-of-seven Toorpakai Saiedi already pulls in a staggering Â£13,901 of handouts every month in rent and living allowances, but complained: “I’d like to take the children on holiday to Disneyland Paris but I can’t afford it.”
Saiedi, 35, insisted she is even too broke to have satellite TV and pay water and gas bills because the huge seven-bedroom detached house laid on by taxpayers in Acton, west London, costs too much to heat and run.
Yet wandering through her home is like stepping into a glossy Argos catalogue of must-have gadgets and furnishings:
CENTREPIECE of the spacious lounge is the family’s pride and joyâ€”an incredible 50-inch flatscreen PLASMA TELEVISION worth Â£1,500 which dominates the room. Quizzed on how they could possibly afford the TV, 20-year-old son Jawadâ€”who has never workedâ€”claimed: “I got it cheap off a friend a year or so ago.”
HOOKED up to the set is a Â£180 NINTENDO Wii console complete with extra games costing Â£40 each.
SCATTERED around are a dozen beautifully-made SILK CUSHIONS so the kids can watch the latest cartoons in comfort.
ANOTHER smaller TV is sited in the second reception roomâ€”with a Â£300 PLAYSTATION 3 connected to it. Lying nearby are five more games, also around Â£40 each.
OTHER games dotted around the house match a handheld NINTENDO DS which retails for about Â£100.
JAWAD has TWO MOBILE PHONES including a sought after iPHONE, priced Â£500 new. Although they can be had as an upgrade phone for Â£100, users still have to pay a Â£35-a-month contract.
THEN there are the two LAPTOP COMPUTERS worth at least Â£350 each.
STYLISH WOODEN FLOORS are covered in red PERSIAN-STYLE RUGS and every room has a vase of fresh cut flowers.
But as controversy raged about Ealing Council and Britain’s taxpayers keeping the family in the lap of luxury to the tune of a breathtaking annual total of Â£166,812, single mum Saiedi complained how she can’t afford to shop at supermarket giant Tesco and has to rely on cut-price stores like Lidl and Netto.
“I spend Â£150 a week on food and my kids tell me when there are two-for-one offers at the shops,” she told us. “But by the end of the week there is no money left. It’s a big house and costs a lot to run. It’s difficult making it all work. And we don’t have Sky TV.”
Jawad, wearing a Tommy Hilfiger designer shirt and acting as interpreter for his mother, moaned that the property was much smaller than the massive house they used to have in Afghanistan.
He said: “Our house there was huge compared to this one. We laugh at this house and would give this space to chickens to walk around in a cage.”
The upmarket doublefronted house boasts two reception rooms, two fitted kitchens, a breakfast room, seven double bedrooms and three shower rooms spread over three floors. Saiedi, who has three girls and four boys aged eight to 22 and has split from their father Haji, sat barefoot on one of the two luxurious leather sofas, matched by four armchairs, in her front room as she explained the family finances. The regal-looking suite came with the fully refurbished house, as did all the fixtures and fittings.
In the basement there is even a huge safe, left behind by the last occupants.
Saiedi, who received no payment for this interview, claimed she would like to get a job but said her life was just too busy taking the children to and from school and shopping to feed her family. She also attends English classes three days a week. She said: “One day my boys will get good jobs and they will be able to sort out my debts.” She confessed she has clocked up debts on a CREDIT CARDâ€”granted by a bank despite the fact she has NO JOB â€”but refused to say how much. She admitted there is an outstanding water bill from two months ago of Â£530.
“I can’t afford to pay it,” she said. “The interest rate on the credit card is also very high. We used to have a small car, a 10-year-old Nissan Almera, but we had to sell it because we needed the money.”
Saiedi explained that she receives Â£213 a week in child tax credit, Â£60 in child benefit plus Â£60 income support. But the family’s biggest handout coup is their massive Â£12,458 a month rent, paid direct by the council to landlord Ajit Panesar.
He bought the property in March for Â£1.2 million. Yet if Ealing Council had got a mortgage to buy the house themselves the cost would only be about Â£8,100 a month.
Instead they must cough up the full amount to which Mr Panesar is legally entitled under the discredited Local Housing Allowance Scheme.
Furious Work and Pensions Secretary James Purnell has launched an urgent inquiry and vowed to close any loopholes. And Ealing Council has already sacked three officers involved in rehousing the family.
Back in Afghanistan, Saiedi’s husband was in business supplying the government army. He fled the Taliban and won political asylum here in 2001, followed by his family.
They first lived in a four-bed house in Enfield but as the children got older they were rehoused 2 years ago in a five-bed property up the road in Ealing. Ten weeks ago they landed the mansion.
Saiedi, smartly dressed in polka-dot skirt and top, white jacket and black headscarf, admitted they had landed on their feet. “Life is very good,” she said, “I would say we’re luckyâ€”maybe it’s destiny.”
She added: “I know some people are a bit jealous of us. But I am very shocked at the rentâ€”it’s too much.
“It’s a good house but not that good. I thought it was a joke when we found out how much the landlord was getting. We didn’t make the deal or anything. The council offered us the house. They said go round and see it and if you like it, you can move in.”
But Saiedi evaded questions about her estranged husband, and whether he was employed or helping them with finances.
Son Jawad denied his dad was working as a taxi driver but added: “We don’t see very much of himâ€”I think he was working but only for a short time.” Jawad added that he has applied for a place at business college. One of his brothers, Nasir, 22, is already at Kent University and Fawad, 18, attends college.
But then, whispering so his mother couldn’t hear, Jawad boasted of a terrifying secret sideline funded from the family benefitsâ€”illegal late-night street racing in souped-up cars.
“I have unofficial sponsors and they bet on me,” he said. “I’ve raced in the back streets of Kings Cross and on the motorways.
“I love the driving and I don’t make much money from itâ€”I do it more for fun.” He bragged he recently sold a black Mazda sports car on the internet for Â£6,000 and has other motors hidden away. “They’re not here, I don’t want people to see me in them,” he added.
Not surprisingly his mum insists the family will NEVER return to their homeland. “This is better here,” she told us. “My children all go to school and it’s very good. They are learning things. If you come here with nothing the authorities will support you.
“We just had the clothes we arrived in. No money, no nothing. We are grateful to the British.”
Last night the owner of the family’s home insisted HE did not set the massive rent. Mr Panesar said: “I was told by Ealing Council that’s what I was going to get. They advertise for properties and I rang them. They came along and said this will be the rent. I just said OK.”