A pipe fitter who has paid into the welfare system for more than 35 years has been refused Jobseeker’s Allowance now that he finds himself out of work - because he hasn’t contributed ‘enough’.
Brian Blogg, aged 52, has worked full time ever since leaving school at 15 - but is being hit by a benefits regulation which makes him now ineligible for unemployment benefit.
Brian, from Beighton, Sheffield, was made redundant two years ago - and resourcefully went self-employed to keep working.
But after jobs dried up this year he reluctantly tried to signed on - to be told he is not entitled to a penny. During the last two years of self-employment, he is deemed not to have paid enough National Insurance.
Brian said: “I couldn’t believe it. I’ve been a miner, I’ve worked as a foreman in a cutlery factory, and then I trained as a pipe fitter. All my life I’ve wanted to work.
“For 30-odd years I’ve been paying National Insurance. The whole idea of that insurance is so you’re covered to get help when you need it.
“I need help now - and I get nothing.”
During self-employment, sub-contracting for a Sheffield firm, Brian paid class two National Insurance contributions. Most people in jobs pay class one, usually through their employer.
Job Seeker’s Allowance is split into two forms - contribution-based and income-based. And if your partner works over 24 hours a week, like Brian’s wife Jill, you cannot get income-based JSA.
A spokesman for the Department for Work and Pensions confirmed: “We can’t comment on individual cases - but paying class two does not entitle you to contribution-based JSA.
“People may still be eligible for income-based JSA, but that does take into account the income and savings of the whole household.”