Stacey Solomon said that benefits "saved her life", as she shared her financial woes as a struggling single mother before finding fame on The X Factor.
Mother-of-four Stacey, 32, who is a regular panellist on ITV’s long-running daytime TV show Loose Women, discussed the cost of living crisis in the UK on the show on Friday.
She sat alongside Kaye Adams, Judi Love and Nadia Sawalha, on the panel to discuss the UK government-proposed possibility of households receiving £400 to help with their energy bills.
After Kaye started the debate, Stacey said: "I just think it's another example of how out of touch the government are.”
Kaye reasoned: "A lot of this Covid, then you have the situation in Ukraine. I hate to use the word unprecedented, but these are unprecedented times."
Stacey then spoke about her own experiences with benefits, after unexpectedly falling pregnant with her son, Zachary, at the age of 17.
She said: "When I had Zachary at 17, 18, I got a Sure Start Grant, it was called at the time, and I can't tell you how much that saved my life.
"My working tax credits saved our life, we could not have got by without those. The milk tokens that we used to get to help us buy SMA and milk and stuff from the shops that we couldn't afford."
She continued: ”All of that got abolished. Like some of my friends who are in similar circumstances now don't even have those opportunities, they're completely taken away from people and then they turn around and go, 'oh look, we're in a cost of living crisis, let's roll out £400’.
"I don't think they realise for most people who need that £400, that money was spent six months ago."
Stacey has amassed a huge fanbase due her down-to-earth attitude, and that was clear when one fan took to Twitter to praise the star as they wrote: "Every single time I catch @StaceySolomon on #LooseWomen she impresses me so much.
"So many people who comment on current affairs have only ever known huge riches.
"Imo we need to hear from many more like Stacey who has actually lived through tougher financial times in her life.”
Since finding fame on The X Factor in 2009, on which she came third, Stacey went on to win the tenth series of I'm a Celebrity… Get Me Out of Here! in 2010, and land her place as panellist on Loose Women.
She’s got a massive Instagram following of 5.2million, and she’s loved for showing off her home and family life, as well as her DIY skills.
These days, she’s a long way from her life on benefits, as she lives in a £1.2million mansion in Essex, named Pickle Cottage, with her fiancé, Joe Swash and their children.
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