Liverpool park gardener reveals personal impact of cuts

A parks and grounds upkeep gardener who lost his job after huge budget cuts at Liverpool City Council has revealed his plight in an interview by the Guardian.

Thomas Bebb spoke to the national daily newspaper after figures from the GMB union last week showed that nearly one in three households in Liverpool had no-one in work.

Bebb, who lost his job in November, said he was living "substantially below the poverty line". Nevertheless, he volunteered with his old employer once a week because he enjoyed his work and wanted to return if there was an opening.

He described the loss of his full-time grounds maintenance job two years ago as "the end of the world", but said life looked up when he went back on a short-term contract. However, the work lasted only a few months until late last year.

He receives about £67 a week as Jobseeker's Allowance, but £15 is deducted in child maintenance and another £10 to repay a crisis loan provided by the job centre to tide the family over. This leaves him just over £40 a week.

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