LETTER: Crackdown on benefits cheats is hitting self-employed

I LIVE in Burnley and I’m a qualified electrician sub contractor working in self-employed roles. I’ve just finished a nine-month contract job completed at Christmas, and paid all my tax. I worked for a company until 2008 for more than eight years. I am currently looking for work and have a few irons in the fire. I signed on just before Christmas and have signed on three times since on time with my book filled in.

I understand this is a hard time of year for the self-employed, and I did have enough money to see me through Christmas and January.

Now I feel totally let down and disgusted with the system as my claim was turned down as I have worked more than an average of 16 hours a week over 12 months.

I am outraged at the decision and have appealed. If I hadn’t worked, paid tax and contributed to society, been an alcoholic or drug addict then I would have received benefits.

Last year I had two months out of work due to similar circumstances and received benefits. I agree with the Government’s crackdown on benefit cheats but maybe they are also cheating the innocent.

RYAN SIMPSON

BURNLEY