Man speaks out after job centre computer row

A MAN whose behaviour resulted in ambulance and police officers being called to Redruth Job Centre has claimed that the government’s failure to pay him job seekers allowance has left him starving.

Last Wednesday police were alerted to an incident at the job centre where a man became aggressive at staff in the building.

The man, 59-year-old former lorry driver Phillip Heath, says his frustrations were born out of the fact that he was told by staff that he had to use a computer to claim job seekers allowance.

“I’ve spoken to the Redruth job centre several times and each time I was told that to claim job seekers allowance I have to have the internet and an email address.

“As far as I’m concerned you might as well go and throw a computer in Stithians Dam as I have no interest whatsoever in learning to use one.

“They aren’t listening to me, all I hear is computer, computer, computer and I haven’t been paid since September 4. I can fix a car and am a very hands-on guy, but don’t even know how to turn on a computer.

“I’ve barely had anything to eat for 12 days. If a person has a pet they get prosecuted if they don’t look after it but the government are starving me and doing nothing about it.

“Redruth Job Centre has nothing in writing saying that I have to use a computer.”

Mr Heath was originally signed off sick following a heart attack 12 months ago, but despite a note from his doctor saying that he shouldn’t be allowed back to work, a Department of Work and Pensions medical assessment declared him fit to work and as a result made him turn to applying for jobseekers’ allowance to get by.

Source: Man speaks out after job centre computer row | West Briton

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16 thoughts on “Man speaks out after job centre computer row

  1. mohandeer

    This is utterly unacceptable. In order to have a computer working you need broadband or dial up and that costs money someone on JSA could not afford. So how is someone suppose to be able to pay for broadband when they can barely make ends meet. The RSPCA should prosecute the govt. for failing to look after human beings (they are a two legged animal) we have laws to protect dogs but not humans from irresponsible and cruel people? The local libraries have been shut down and there is no internet cafe down the road so how is someone supposed to pay for a computer on JSA? We have nearly 2 million unemployed with no jobs for many of them to go to despite the lies the Tories keep promulgating. A further 1.4 + million on zero contract hours or self employed barely getting by if at all and more than 2 million P/T jobs which do not offer enough hours for people to live on. All this and half a million children going hungry with a further 1.5 million homeless and over a million people, some working on short hours, in 2015 under a Tory government. Time to ask the queen to dissolve this government and call for early re-elections.

    1. Mike Sivier Post author

      The Queen has nothing to do with it.
      Why do people keep suggesting that she should step in when this would cause a constitutional crisis?

  2. AndyH

    There are some people who cannot get their heads around computers – doesn’t matter how many ‘advisors’ they have at the job centre – and if you don’t own a computer, how are you supposed to spend 35 hours a week looking for work online?

  3. Dez

    That is probably as low as one can go with regard to treating your customers and then cause the guy totally unnecessary stress with his condition. His days as a lorry driver with new drivers regs and his health are long gone so how they describe him as fit to work is yet another example of their wheeling ‘n dealing. Perhaps if they offered computer training and other training as they used to do years ago this might be something constructive. He’s not alone in that age group, not having any computer knowledge and frankly being scared of it all. Even a QWERTY keyboard defies their basic knowledge of alphabet layouts etc… Terrible treatment, for which that office should be reprimanded and shamed.

  4. James

    I know Cornwall is officially the poorest county in the UK (although one of the most beautiful and unspoiled) but surely the Redruth Jobcentre MUST have computers that claimants can use or, if not, a way of claiming benefit entitlements with help from a DWP call centre using a Jobcentre phone? I know for a fact that claimants CANNOT be made to use the godawful Universal Jobmatch site except by means of a computer in a Jobcentre. What the heck is happening down there in the wild south-west?

    1. Jonathan Wilson

      They pulled the phones from all the JCP’s, Its now nearly impossible to use a phone in the JCP as the staff have been told not to allow use of the JCP phones on their desks. Also you’re not allowed to use a mobile in the JCP.

  5. Aelfy

    “As far as I’m concerned you might as well go and throw a computer in Stithians Dam as I have no interest whatsoever in learning to use one.” Wrong comment for him to make,I’m afraid. He is just giving them more ammunition to use against him………………. If the DWP are so flipping adamant on people using computers why don’t they set up free basic courses at the Job centres? Does anyone know if they do this already?

    1. wildswimmerpete

      @Aelfy
      “If the DWP are so flipping adamant on people using computers why don’t they set up free basic courses at the Job centres?” because any training has to be from one of Smith’s favourite, privatised poverty pimps like Learn Direct, A4E etc, who won’t supply computer training because that’ll eat into profits.

      1. Aelfy

        @ Wildswimmerpete Thank you for sorting that out for me Pete, I’ve got so much tory crap swimming through my brain at the moment,that my mind is getting more confuddled than usual 🙂

  6. hayfords

    A cimputer is NOT necessary. You can apply for Job Seekers Allowance over the telephone. Then you will be invited for an interview.

    Telephone Jobcentre Plus on Freephone 0800 055 6688

  7. John.

    What sort of evil pond life are the DWP employing at these “job” centres. This unfortunate bloke is clearly struggling, in poor health and hungry. For goodness sake what has this country become?

    They aren’t job centres any more. They’re evidently persecution centres and that takes a special type of employee.

  8. marcusdemowbray

    This story MUST be made known to the UN Special Representative when she visits UK soon. It is a shining example of how our Bureaucrats have made a cold, inflexible and officious system, when humans have to conform to the system rather than the system being designed to cater for the fact that no two people have exactly the same skills. Without money how can you afford to buy a computer or phone and pay for internet use? Kafka-esque bureacracy at its worst, and all thanks to Herr Dumkopf “Arbeit Macht Frei” Schmitt.

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