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Saturday, 3 December 2016
THE controversial leader of Australia's One Nation party has claimed some polygamous Muslims cheat the benefits system by using large families to get taxpayer-funded homes.
Pauline Hanson, who won a seat in the Australian senate this year, alleged that some Muslims cheat welfare by exploiting the system with their "multiple wives".
One Nation is a right-wing populist party founded in 1997 by Ms Hanson.
She accused Muslims of "having four wives and numerous children" so they can live in large taxpayer-funded homes.
The allegation – which Ms Hanson admitted was "controversial" – was met with bemusement and anger by many of her colleagues in Australia's senate.
One Nation leader Pauline Hanson claimed Muslims are cheating welfar
Ms Hanson told a Sky News debate on the day before Australia's parliament reconvenes: "You've got people out there from Muslim backgrounds and they've got four wives and numerous children.
"They're getting into housing commission houses – we're actually paying for that.
"That is not right and it shouldn't be happening in Australia."
South Australia senator Nick Xenophon shot back: "Polygamy is not legal in this country. You can't single out one community and one religion and pick on them."
But the right-wing leader remained resolute: "No, but it's happening Nick, it's happening. Don't bury your head in the sand."
Ms Hanson started a 'controversial' tirade against Muslim welfare cheats
She went on to argue Australia's budget can and should be reduced by cracking down on the welfare bill.
The divisive political figure also bashed single mothers and those who had been on welfare payments for a lengthy period of time.
Ms Hanson argued single women "think they can have a number of kids to keep them in the welfare system".
You've got people out there from Muslim backgrounds and they've got four wives and numerous children
She also pointed out that there have been "people on welfare for 30 or 40 years – third and fourth generation".
The frustrated Queensland Senator-elect added: "Where is the money coming from? We are taxed to the hilt.
"Wake up Australia, because we cannot afford it."
Ms Hanson, who in the past has been skeptical of global warming, has vowed to find out "the truth" about climate change in Australia.
However, she has refused to elaborate on her policy objectives.
Appearing on 60 Minutes on Sunday night, the 62-year-old announced she wanted the Muslim community to work with her.
She said: “What I’d like to see is these Muslims that are not the radicals, the ones that want to live their life in peace and harmony and quite happy to be here in Australia and love and embrace this nation, then work with me to find the answers."
Ms Hanson was ridiculed and criticised earlier this month for claiming Indian-style squat toilets were a symbol of the Australian government pandering to arriving migrants from south Asia.