Steal the poor. It is legal, and they can’t afford to shout.

The benefits offices are privatised in virtually every local authority in London. Now the Job Centre has been privatised as well. No one really cares, since it is to do with the scum of society.

The way it works with these Private Finance Initiative is that the premises etc remain the property of the Council, or the Crown, whoever, but the service is managed by the private company, and the public entity pays the company for the providing of that service, plus, in the case of the benefits offices, the amount that it allocate for that social provision.

It is logical and understandable that the company wants to make as much profit as possible, and that it trains its workforce in this philosophy.

The benefits companies and the Job Centre produce some very good leaflets and booklets explaining what benefits correspond to what circumstances. It all looks like there is a lot of help, almost a haven for poor people to get benefits. But the story finishes there. People on benefits, and social workers who help them with the paperwork, have reached the agreement that the personnel are trained to put things as difficult as possible to tire people off by sending them to different departments or to telephone numbers that never work, by losing the documents provided… by doing everything possible so that you just give up unless you are truly desperate ‘and’ literate enough or with enough external help to go through the hell they have prepared. Of course this can not be thoroughly proven, there is much care put into this too.

I know some one who had ‘the right’ to receive the equivalent to Job Seekers Allowance that he was perceiving in Spain, in any country in the European Union (which is not to be confused with Europe). So he came to London with his E303, happy to look for a new job here while learning English and receiving some financial help while doing this, which is what the scheme was designed for.

His paperwork needs to travel from London to Scotland and Ireland, for some reason. During this travelling, between 14 and 16 mistakes have been made which have caused that this person has been not receiving the money he has the ‘right’ to in two months. How do you survive with no income? (in a Union of Countries where even to pick food from the rubbish is a criminal and therefore arrestable offence)

I myself had the right for Job Seekers Allowance and Housing Benefit for so long, because what I was earning as a bar maid was £80 a week and I was paying £62 for my room. But this bar was not providing me with paysleeps. I asked the managers and owner for paysleeps, the benefits office kept telling me to ask for them. Result: I was denied a dignified life for months until I got a job with a proper contract. During that time, I lived on £18 a week. I did get into arrears in the hostel for poor women where I was staying, and proceedings were started to throw me out of the place because of the arrears. When I got this job, the whole salary of the first month went to pay these arrears. Of course I was entitled to receive it from the housing benefit office, but they only accepted original documents and my presence during office hours and, since just after beginning that job I could not ask for time off, that private company was more than £500 better off thanks to me.

And I can tell so many more stories on request. Some of them happened to me, some of them to other people. The conclusion is the same: steal the poor. It is legal, and they can’t afford to shout.