Such is the life of a Department of Work and Pensions civil servant who applied the letter of the law to a poppy seller.
A VETERAN soldier has lost his jobseeker’s allowance – because he was selling poppies instead of “actively seeking work”.This is the mindset of those who work for the state, all must be declared and penalties will be given for breaches of the rules no matter what you're doing. It wasn't as if Mr Taylor was even earning money, as he was selling poppies, technically he wasn't actively seeking work so the Dept of Work and Pensions penalised him for doing a good deed and having the temerity to honestly admit to them what he was doing. Had he just sat in his house with his feet up, no problem, down the pub (assuming he can afford too) no problem, shopping, no problem. Sell poppies for a very worthy cause down comes the wrath of the state...
The decision to take away the benefit from father-of-four Stephen Taylor, 60, who served in Cyprus, Kenya and Northern Ireland, caused outrage last night.
He admitted when he signed on at his local Jobcentre that he had spent 24 hours over a two-week period selling poppies to raise charity funds for veterans.
His honesty was rewarded by staff deeming he was in breach of rules governing benefit payments and his £71.20-a-week allowance was withdrawn.
The former pub manager has been out of work for a year and has now missed out on four weekly payments for selling the poppies outside an Asda store in Bury, Greater Manchester, in the run-up to Remembrance Day.
A Department for Work and Pensions spokesman said: “We make it clear to people what the rules are and that they risk losing their benefits if they don’t play by them. Sanctions are only used as a last resort.Sounds like they were used as a first resort here and no doubt someone in the Debt feels particularly smug about putting the boot into a veteran soldier.
In other news, Trafford Council landed a £300,000 bill because a bunch of asylum seekers were dumped on them by the Home Office.
Makes you wonder just where the priorities of the government in the UK are, doesn't it?