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Testimonies

I’m 60 and I’m on JSA. It’s £142 a fortnight to live on.

Location: UK » Scotland » AB
I’m 60 and I’m on JSA. It’s £142 a fortnight to live on.

I am Dan and I am 60. I am on JSA. What chance do I have. You have all these people, aged 22 and 23 and they can’t find a job. They’ve been to college with degrees coming out of their arse. What’s happening now is that the Pound Shop and all that - they’re employing people, but it’s the modern version of slavery [taking people on workfare placements]. They’re getting away with it. It’s the fucking bankers that ought to be done for it.

People are saying that there’s benefit fraud and that people are sitting around watching flatscreen TVs. But there’s people who are genuinely trying. I get £142 a fortnight and I have to pay all of my bills out of that. That’s three or four pounds a day. I got a job myself. I was a professional musician for all of my life and I was trying to find a way to teach kids music - to get them off the streets. I wanted to do that voluntary, but people don’t care. They’re pointing the fingers in the wrong direction.

I was in a back-to-work thing with a company called Ingeus. There would be 20 people around the computer and they were trying to teach you how to do IT at 90 miles an hour. I can’t work that way. I would be better learning how to do it myself. Waste of fucking time – they’re spending money on the wrong things. But nobody’s saying that, so I keep coming in here. People haven’t woken up. You won’t hear this conversation on the five o’clock news. I was a professional drummer and I went all over the world - Germany, the States, all over. But the money in it has gone.

I have to come in here [to the jobcentre] once a fortnight. Last year for a time, they had us coming in here four days a week. To sign on. That lasted for about two and a half or three weeks.

I hate the place. They aren’t going to find me a job in there. Not a hope in hell. It’s my age as well. They’re not interested. There’s millions of youth unemployed. Nobody is going to look at me. If everyone was on the same wave and making good money, the jobcentres would be gone for a start. People like us are screwed to the ground. They’ve legalised bullying. They wear suits.

I haven’t been sanctioned. I do what they tell me to do.

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