£15 a week to get to a computer

leftfest

The people who came up with the requirement that all Universal Credit claims must be managed on line can’t live in the real world – and certainly not in rural Scotland. Yesterday, one of the people who visited our stall at Leftfest told us of a friend who was expected to make 30 minute bus journeys to get to a computer, at the cost of £15 a week. That’s more than 20% of the miserly weekly benefit payment!

And although you should be able to get help in this situation, he clearly had not been made aware of that.  The minds that conjure up detailed rules about sanctions from the comfort of well-paid jobs, don’t seem to have expressly addressed what must be a common and predictable problem; however this is something that the jobcentre’s Flexible Support Fund could help with. It is clearly unreasonable to expect you to spend this amount of money out of your benefits, so if the jobcentre won’t provide help with travel costs, or allow you to use an alternative method of communication and jobsearch, then you need to put in a formal complaint. An MP’s letter could make all the difference at this point…

(Thanks to CPAG for discussions on this issue.)

The picture was taken at Leftfest

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