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From: The Socialist issue 904, 1 June 2016: Shatter the Tories: vote out

Search site for keywords: Unemployment - DWP - Public services - Minimum wage - Government - Benefits - Jobs - Young people - Public transport - Fares

Jobseekers told: take three-hour commute

Commuter trains are packed, unreliable and overpriced, photo by Kurtis Garbutt (Creative Commons)

Commuter trains are packed, unreliable and overpriced, photo by Kurtis Garbutt (Creative Commons)   (Click to enlarge)

Kris O'Sullivan, jobseeker

The Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) is advising jobseekers to "consider roles up to 90 minutes' travel time away".

Getting a job in austerity Britain is not a guaranteed or easy thing. I am a recent university graduate, and have spent the past couple of months job hunting. I can see how hard it can be to get your foot in the door - then we have this ridiculous 'advice' from the DWP.

To suggest a three-hour round trip as a feasible solution just illustrates how out of touch and indifferent this government is. This is just not an option for so many people.

Commuter trains are full to the rafters and cost a fortune. And - with skyrocketing rents (God forbid if you live in London), ever increasing transport fares, more and more jobs offering minimum wage or zero hours, and disappearing public services - we are living pay cheque to pay cheque, struggling to stay afloat.

For young people trying to live independently, a three-hour journey is an extra brutal burden, financially and mentally. As a care-leaver myself, I've experienced first-hand the struggle to survive, to get hold of even basic life necessities on a minimal income.

This government has no real solution to unemployment. The real solution is to take the wealth off the 1% and invest in useful, well-paid, secure employment for all. The Socialist Party's programme - including nationalising public transport, a 10 an hour minimum wage, liveable benefits without compulsion, and reversing attacks on public services - is vital.

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