'I spent 20 years building the lifeboats and now there's no room for me'

19 October 2020, 16:18

By Fiona Jones

This caller has been unable to claim financial support during the pandemic. He told Shelagh Fogarty: "I spent 20 years building the lifeboats in case something like this happened and now there's no room for me."

Shelagh Fogarty devoted her show to listening to LBC callers who had been excluded from financial support during the pandemic.

Caller Daniel was a professional commercial photographer who was made redundant at the end of May 2019 meaning "he fell short by a month" of being able to access relevant aid.

"I received one payment of Universal Credit and then my wife got a small business grant for her business which was classed as me receiving a wage, so I haven't received anything since- that's literally since March," he told Shelagh.

Daniel said that he is a resourceful and resilient man so is teaching himself how to become a painter and decorator, but the issue for him is "more the mental health aspect."

"I've been estranged from society. The way I saw it was I helped for twenty years to build the lifeboats, I always paid my taxes, never went into debt...and I was helping build the lifeboats for when something like this happened, and now it's happened there's not enough room on the lifeboats.

"All you hear is there's no room left on the lifeboats," he said, opening up that he now feels on the outside of society and actually feels disenfranchised: "if you're adrift, it means no one cares."

Daniel told Shelagh that to cope mentally he has been building things out of wood which has led to him building up a website.

This compares to before where he worked on huge campaigns such as the Olympics and the London Marathon, where the "whole country" would have seen his work.

He now feels he never wants to pay tax again: "I'm thinking...I want to work cash in hand for the rest of my life."

"It's taken me 39 years to realise it: the people in charge are so out of touch with the people in the streets. It's hit me so profoundly," Daniel said.