A mum of three from Beckenham was left shaken after a Bromley Jobcentre worker accidentally left an answerphone message seemingly accusing her of being a “scrounging bastard that’s popping out kids like pigs”, it has been reported.
Mrs Garcia checked her answerphone messages and found a message from jobcentre worker Ann Goode, asking her to get in touch to discuss her benefits claim.
However, Goode didn’t hang up properly and can be heard angrily discussing the case with a colleague.
Unaware she was being recorded, Goode first began talking with her colleague about how much Mrs Garcia was receiving in benefits.
“That’s almost a thousand pounds a month – 12,000 a year”, she can be overheard saying.
The cruel and “offensive” jobcentre employee can then be heard referring to Mrs Garcia’s name. “This is Cecilia Garcia. None of them are English names”, says Goode.
In reality, Mrs Garcia has dual Mexican-British nationality and all her three children – aged eight, six and four – were born in the UK.
Goode continues: “I don’t … I just don’t … why are we running around for these people?
“Do you know I resent even doing this work because if I had a person who said I really want a job, I want to go on your case load, yes, all the time, every day of the week.
“But not some scrounging bastard that’s popping out kids like pigs.”
“I’m going to get very politically incorrect this afternoon.”
Rather than being taken aback by Goode’s offensive comments, her jobcentre colleague can be heard saying: “You are, aren’t you? And I don’t blame you one bit”.
Speaking to News Shopper, Mrs Garcia said: “I got sick, I was so upset over the weekend.
“It is really offensive all the things that she says on the voicemail. And it sounds like the other person totally agrees with her.
“The fact that they say things like ‘oh they aren’t even English names’ – this goes beyond everything, saying I pop out kids like pigs.
“I have dual nationality, we did everything right, I’m not illegal. She shouldn’t express this about people from other backgrounds.”
Mrs Garcia says she noticed a change in people’s attitude toward those of a non-British background since the EU referendum.
“We could speak Spanish on the bus or train with no problems but now I tell my children not to speak Spanish in public places because I feel people looking at us like ‘what are they doing here?”, she said.
Mrs Garcia added: “Living on benefits you live on the edge. I study, I have a finance degree. I am trying to go back to work but I had to stop working because I have three children.
“I understand people say that a lot of people are taking benefits but not every single case is the same.”
A DWP spokesperson said they’re taking the incident “extremely seriously” and have launched an investigation.
This article was last edited at 06:19 on 4 August 2016 to correct an editing error.