Since loosing my job i've been thinking of doing a sort of mini-series of pieces about living on the dole. Here is the first.
The dole, or Job Seekers Allowance, exists to get people off it as soon as possible. It's there to tide people over ever so quickly before they're back into work. Fair enough, it's important that people work.
But at the moment dole consists of pennies the state hands down with gritted teeth, and the state is very eager to take them back at the slightest opportunity.
I felt like i was signing a paper saying 'i am worthless and stupid' on it. i have to go through X, Y, and Z motions towards getting a job, which i may not have a choice about accepting.
Now this is all a very delicate and complex area, and the other side is that it should not be too easy to sit around on benefits all day. i'll have a better idea of what's going on when i've been on the dole longer, but hopefully that won't happen.
It sticks in my throat when compared to the help for the richest, that the poorest get squeezed and screwed, while the rich get their bonuses and pay.