“It’s like the politicians kicked me when I was already down”

Dave (31) – currently living in east Belfast – spoke to socialistpartyni.net about how he has been hit by the crisis and now the attacks on benefits:

“I was working as an assistant manager in Woolworths when it went bust in 2009. Soon after I took the job, rumours begin to go round that the company was in serious in difficulties, so it didn’t come out of the blue when the company went into administration. But it was a slap in the face that we first heard that our jobs were going from the news, not from the company themselves. As a manager, I had to tell my workmates the next morning that it was true.”

“I managed to find some casual, part-time work after that but I’ve been on the dole for around 18 months now. There just aren’t any jobs out there, with company after company going down the tubes and the politicians slashing jobs in the public sector. The way they go on, though, you’d think the dole was a luxury and people don’t want to work. They should try living on £60 a week!”

“That was bad enough but at the start of April, my Housing Benefit was cut by £20 a week because of the ‘Welfare Reform’. That meant the rent for the house I was in wasn’t being covered anymore. I went to the landlord and explained the situation but he said I would have to come up with the extra money. How could I afford to? I’ve had to move out and I’m crashing on my mate’s sofa at the minute. Effectively, I’m homeless. It’s like the politicians kicked me when I was already down. They’re only interested in looking after their super-rich friends – but that’s capitalism!”

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