Stacey Solomon has discussed how important the benefits system was to keeping her afloat after the birth of her first child.
The 32-year-old star said on Friday's episode of Loose Women that state support "saved my life" when she became a single mum as a teenager, prior to her rise to fame on The X Factor.
Solomon told her fellow panellists that she received a Sure Start grant when her first son was born in 2008, as well as tokens to buy baby milk.
She said: "I was given a Sure Start Grant, which is what it was called at the time, and I can't tell you how much that saved my life. My working tax credits saved our lives, we could not have got by without those."
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Speaking about the current cost of living crisis affecting families in the UK, Solomon said many of the support systems she relied upon have been "abolished".
She added: "Some of my friends who are in similar circumstances now, don't even have those opportunities. They're completely taken away from people.
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"And then they turn around and go 'oh look, we're in a cost of living crisis, let's roll out £400'. It's too little, too late."
Solomon's comments came about in a discussion about Rishi Sunak's announcement that the previously mooted £200 repayable energy loan to every household would become a £400 grant.
Solomon now has four children, including two with fiancé Joe Swash, and she also serves as stepmum to Swash's son from a previous relationship.
She rose to fame as a contestant on The X Factor in 2009 and won the 10th series of I'm a Celebrity... Get Me Out of Here a year later.
Solomon joined the Loose Women panel in 2016 as a guest contributor and subsequently became a regular face on the daytime talk show.
She recently presented Bake Off: The Professionals and has confessed to suffering crippling nerves and anxiety ahead of filming.
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