Someone Has Spraypainted “I, Daniel Blake” On To Exeter JobCentre
The rebellious statement ‘I, Daniel Blake’ has been daubed onto the side of Exeter Jobcentre in black paint.
The words, mirroring the conclusion of Ken Loach’s film of the same name, have appeared outside the entrance off the entrance to Jobcentre Plus, off Paris Street roundabout.
The words have appeared over the weekend.
The Palme d’Or winner tells the story of a joiner whose claim for Employment and Support Allowance is rejected after he is assessed as fit to work, despite doctor’s orders not to work while he recovers from a heart attack.
Former Work and Pensions Secretary Iain Duncan Smith criticised its depiction of the benefits system, saying: “The film has taken the very worst of anything that can ever happen to anybody, lump it all together and then say ‘absolutely, this is life as it is lived by people.’ And I don’t believe that.”
But Steve Barriball, chief executive of Citizens Advice Exeter, said his team regularly helps people who find themselves in a similar situation to the fictional character played by Dave Johns.
“We see the systemic failures all the time, though the outcome for Daniel Blake in the film is an extreme one,” he said.
“A lot of the frustrations he experiences with the processes and systems are ones we see every day for our clients.
“What we are able to do here is help people to appeal their cases to a social security tribunal.”
Citizens Advice Exeter’s latest figures show a 23 per cent year-on-year increase in enquiries about ESA.
Enquiries about disability benefits were also up 20 per cent.