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Wednesday, 4 November 2009

Life on the dole...Signing On

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.

3 comments:

DisMythaBul said...

Your a bit wet with your socialism there Beardy. Every aspect of benefits is designed to shame and badger you back to work...this an ideological matter more than a money one. You are made to feel you are entitled to nothing without the utmost scrutiny. Even sickness benefits are withheld until you have undergone rigorous interrogation - the professional opinion of your doctor is rendered meaningless eventually.

As for limiting benefit payments to prevent people fom not "sitting around all day on the dole," What's wrong with that? In other Western European countries where benefits are provided it is almost expected that people will take a long break between jobs in order to prepare for a change in career etc...but here that's somehow a crime.

As I say, it's ideological, and in this country with all it's wealth we are an embarrassment to the international working class because we accept this callous and highly intimidating benefits system. It is our right to expect welfare support from our government...it's what we are taxed for.

Bearded Socialist said...

I'd sort of agree, in that I think benefits are designed to punish people for needing them, a hangover from the Victorian times as much as Thatcher's.
It's part of the way many people believe the poor and sick deserve to be poor and sick to make themselves feel better about not helping them

Bearded Socialist said...

and the bit about doctors opinions being rendered meaningless is all too true