Jimmy Stirling’s DWP Diary: A small win in the big battle against the system?


62-year-old Jimmy Stirling hopes he may have beaten a threatened sanction as he waits to re-join the welfare system

I AM Jimmy Stirling, a 62-year-old unemployed graphic designer, photographer and musician, single grandfather and social housing tenant living in Glasgow.

I receive Jobseeker’s Allowance of PS50 per week and have a very small pension payment of just under PS25 per week. I do voluntary work for my neighbouring community and look after one of my granddaughters for two days per week.

I was recently conscripted to take part in the UK Government’s Community Work Programme, where I would be forced to work for my Jobseeker’s Allowance, which I see as slave labour.

This not volunteering, this is not being paid a wage, this is conscription.

I am against this terrible programme and this is my experience in trying to avoid a six-month, 30-hours-per-week sentence just to juggle the government’s statistics to make them look good.

Below is my latest diary update. You can read the others here.

29 February 2016

It’s been a very quiet week. One manila envelope arrived containing a letter from the DWP telling me that that I would not be paid from 18 February, my rapid re-sign date, because I had not paid or been credited with enough Class 1 National Insurance Contributions. I was expecting this.

I sign on again on Wednesday and I will see if I will be back on track with Jobseeker’s Allowance payments . I have been applying for jobs as it is part of my agreement with the Jobcentre.

Thanks to Baz Man for your comment below my last diary update . I am not going to tempt fate by asking if my threatened sanction has been shelved. I am aware that they wouldn’t let me know, so I will live with the knowledge that I may have beaten the system on that one.

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Picture courtesy of Jimmy Stirling