That amounts to £317.83 ($451.00) extra per month for each wife, funded by hardworking British taxpayers, in an illegal (under British law) polygamous Muslim household. Under sharia law, Muslim are permitted to have four wives.
Men with more than one wife will qualify for extra benefits under the new welfare system, according to official House of Commons research.
Under the universal credit welfare system, which is not expected to be fully introduced until 2021, polygamous households will be rewarded with higher benefits.
In the UK, it is illegal to marry more than one person. Polygamous marriages, largely confined to Muslim families, are only recognised in Britain if they took place in countries where they are legal, such as Middle Eastern states, Pakistan and Zambia.
There no official figures but it is estimated that there may be as many as 20,000 polygamous marriages in the British Muslim community.
Currently, a husband and his first wife are paid up to £114.85 a week. Subsequent spouses living under the same roof receive around £40 each. The standard allowance is about £498.89 a month for couples, but single people can claim about £317.83.
That means the husband and his first wife will be able to claim the married couples’ allowance and subsequent wives will be able to claim a single person’s allowance.
While there are no official figures, it is believed that there may be as many as 20,000 polygamous marriages in the British Muslim community.