Guest column: Government is finally taking my foreign health care costs campaign seriously

John Mann MP
John Mann MP

My campaign to make sure health costs are claimed back from foreign governments is beginning to take hold.

Earlier this year I revealed that over a 12-month period Britain paid out £674 million to European countries to cover health costs for our citizens abroad, but received only £50 million in return.

At the moment we are simply not claiming back the money we are owed.

Sorting this scandal out should be an urgent priority for the Government.

It would make a huge funding difference to the NHS and I am glad that the Government is starting to take my campaign seriously.

In the Chancellor’s Autumn Statement this week, he stated that fuel duty would be frozen.

This was a missed opportunity – I had written to the Chancellor calling for him to cut fuel duty by 10p.

This would have been a big boost to the economy and would have helped families and small businesses in particular.

I was very pleased to welcome Jaden Waugh from Bassetlaw to Parliament this week.

Jaden, who is only 20, is undertaking a construction operations and civil engineering services apprenticeship with Carillion plc.

She was in Parliament to give evidence about apprenticeships to the work and pensions committee.

Congratulations to Jaden, who performed very well in front of the committee.

We need more good-quality apprenticeships like the one she is doing in the UK and I am sure that the evidence she has given will help that.

I am hearing of lobbying so that Nottinghamshire Fire and Rescue Service is brought under the control of the police service.

These half-baked ideas need stopping before getting anywhere.

The police have enough on their plate without taking on more responsibilities.

In fact, it would be great to see more police officers out on the streets, at a time when the police leadership have recently faced criticism over how they have managed their finances.

We should let the fire and rescue service get on with the excellent job that they do.

We fought a hard campaign with the support of local people to keep the fire station in Retford.

And it is fire officers, with the experience that they have, who should lead the service.

I see that there is a suggestion to absorb Bassetlaw District Council and let County Hall in Nottingham run our affairs.

If this becomes a serious proposal, I will put forward a counter-view that we have one council in Bassetlaw to run all our local matters.

n John Mann’s constituency surgeries for December are Friday, December 9 in Worksop and Misterton and Saturday, December 10 in Retford and Harworth.

To book an appointment to see John Mann, call 01909 506200 or email mannj@parliament.uk