Jimmy Stirling’s DWP Diary: Going around in paperwork circles


62-year-old Jimmy Stirling is getting tired of being continuously asked to provide the same information about his circumstances to the DWP

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.

6 April 2016

I took my walk down to the jobcentre to do my half hour job search. I was informed that my times for this would be changed because the jobcentre was closing the computers down for an hour between 10am and 11am on Wednesdays. The lady said that she didn’t know why.

Then, a nice manila envelope dropped through the door informing me that I had not filled out a form looking for information about my pension income. The original letter was sent back to them last month along with my voluntary work information. So, it appears it had got lost in their system.

I filled out the form with the details and sent it back to them today. In the last six weeks, this is the fourth time I have given them the information about my pension and my pension provider.

I hasten to add that my pension provider is not based in a tax haven, unless West Sussex has been separated.

I thank Lloyd Jones for his invitation to log into and chat on the Remploy website after he left a comment on my last diary update . On this occasion, I regret to inform him that his invitation was unsuccessful: as I do not have a disability, I saw no point.

However, it was nice of him to sign up to CommonSpace to make his comment and do a little PR job for Remploy and Maximus.

My next signing on is on Wednesday, where I hope I will be able to talk to my regular job coach and ask why I was being considered for another ‘on loan’ transfer to Remploy.

The CommonSpace opinion section is an open platform for anyone who wants to voice their views and does not represent the editorial position of CommonSpace itself. If you’d like to have a piece published, email CommonSpace editor Angela Haggerty at angela@common.scot

Picture courtesy of Jimmy Stirling