The target of this week’s rant is the DSS or whatever they call themselves this year – Jobcentre Plus, or whatever.
This week I have heard the story of three people who have been mislead by incorrect information which has then really affected them financially. Each time it has been because the person didn’t just want to sign on but wanted to do something while waiting for that job offer to come in.
You can work part time but then they take 6 weeks to calculate how much to take off your fortnightly benefits and whack it all off at once. Or you do a course and they say it won’t affect your Housing Benefit but it does. The problem is that you never get to speak to one person who can help you. It is so compartmentalised and it seems like nobody will accept responsibility when things go wrong. Always blame someone else.
In each case the family have had to step in and help out. What if there is no family? What if the family have no money? What if you just lose your house and end up on the street? Well then we’ve got a department for that too. But don’t expect us to accept responsibility.
No wonder people cheat the system. No wonder people work cash in hand while signing on. No wonder people don’t take on courses and ways to improve their job prospects. You can put all the money in the world into those schemes but if you penalise folk for doing them, then they ain’t worth a hill o’ beans.