The Liverpool-based Boswell family are experts at exploiting the system to get by in life. Despite the fact that none of the Boswells are officially employed, they manage to live a fairly good life thanks government handouts and various cash-in-hand jobs. Family life for the Boswells centres around their God-fearing Catholic mother, Nellie. With her husband having left her for "a tart", she relies upon her eldest son, Joey, to play the father's role to her other three sons, Jack, Adrian and Billy, and her daughter Aveline. Their ability to squeeze the DHSS dry, while the boys earn a living on the side, is legendary. But, although the family is the focus of their lives, they each have different reasons to be unhappy!