Wednesday, 6 November 2013

Objectifying the Unemployed

This BBC report about tough new sanctions issued by Jobcentres causing real problems for Jobseekers made me raise an eyebrow.

When I lived in Bicester an on Jobseekers, they closed the Bicester Job Centre and I had a choice of which Jobcentre I wanted to report at. Now if you look at Bicester, you'll notice its a town totally unattached to any other town. The nearest Job Centre is Oxford, probably 15 miles away, the next nearest is Banbury 17 miles away and then you have Aylesbury 18 miles away..

Getting to the job centre was a chore in itself because bus fares are not cheap. At the time to get from Bicester to Oxford and back was around £5: note you don't get paid travelling expenses towards reporting at the Job Centre to sign on. If you take that out of Jobseekers allowance you're already around 20% worse off than Job Seekers elsewhere that can walk to their Job Centre.

Now if the Job Centre is putting pressure on Jobseekers to continually attend meetings there, it inevitably eats into the allowance you get. Not only that if you miss these meetings because you can't afford to spend half your allowance on bus fares, you now get penalised and your benefit is removed. So how exactly are you going to pay for food? Food banks have seen a huge rise in demand and I'm not surprised.

I just wonder how long it takes for the first person to snap and start a killing spree in a Job Centre they see as oppressive and denying them basic survival?

I mean, so what if you end up in prison on a life sentence, at least you're going to be fed and kept warm.

The lesser of two evils: except along the way  Job Centre Workers will lose their lives. Just you watch.

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