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No dole after 35 years work for Sheffield pipe fitter

Brain Blogg, aged 52, of Beighton, is pictured outside the Job Centre Plus in Woodhouse, with his wife Jill Blogg, aged 44.

Brain Blogg, aged 52, of Beighton, is pictured outside the Job Centre Plus in Woodhouse, with his wife Jill Blogg, aged 44.

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.”

 

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