Job seeker’s ‘slap around the lug’ for finding work

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A DAD of one who was hit in the pocket after missing an appointment at the job centre says he feels “utterly let down” by the system.

Thirty-one-year-old Craig Morton has vented his fury at the government-run agency after his Jobseeker’s Allowance was slashed when he forgot to attend a meeting with an advisor – which he booked himself to find work.

Craig, who has since found a job, told the Hawick News: “I asked for help to get back to work and support my family, and made an appointment at Job Centre Plus in North Bridge Street, which I forgot about and missed.” But he went on: “I was fortunate to find work and was able to, proudly, sign off.

“But while waiting for my last payment of 10 days of benefits, I found out that I had been penalised financially for missing the appointment I made to try and help myself.”

Craig claimed he was left with £45 to feed his family for two weeks, until receiving an income from his new job.

He continued: “I feel utterly let down. It’s almost like a slap round the lug for getting a job and not relying on benefits for an income.”

A spokesperson for the Department for Work and Pensions said: “When people claim Jobseeker’s Allowance they enter into a contract with us. The conditions that go with that ensure people aren’t taking advantage of taxpayers’ money. Sanctions are used only where people have not adhered to their jobseeker obligations.”