Guest column: Universal credit scheme still has too many questions hanging over it

John Mann MP
John Mann MP

Last week I called on the Government to put their roll-out of universal credit on hold in our area.

Universal credit is intended to replace a range of benefits that are currently claimed, including income-based jobseeker’s allowance and child and working tax credit.

Our area is due to be transferred to the new system over the festive period.

I have called for the Government to halt its plans because of the issues it has caused in other parts of the country.

In many cases, recipients have had to wait seven weeks for payment of the benefits, which puts a huge strain on individuals and families.

It is a system with too many issues to be rolled out as it is, especially as families are preparing for Christmas.

Do you agree that it needs to be made easier to see a GP with evening or weekend appointments?

Bassetlaw Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) is planning to introduce access to appointments outside of normal working hours.

But should they be early morning, evening and/or weekend appointments?

The CCG wants to know what you think.

Please answer their survey so that your views are taken into consideration.

Visit www.surveymonkey.co.uk/r/PLGKF58

I recently had a good and detailed meeting with Nottinghamshire police on a wide range of matters, from modern slavery to recent burglaries.

The police have responded well to the issues I have raised with them recently and attended a public meeting specifically on the spate of burglaries.

A recent Which? investigation indicates that more than a million British air passengers could be owed up to £360 each in compensation after experiencing severe delays to flights of three hours or more last year.

Many passengers never claimed back what they are owed because they are put off by the process or airlines claiming ‘extraordinary circumstances’.

I am backing the campaign to put the public first and to force airlines to automatically pay compensation to customers.

This would soon force airlines to get their act together as these delays would start costing them.

The current compensation system is unreliable, bureaucratic and slow.

Airlines need to up their game.

It is important that local people get to visit Parliament, especially as politicians keep threatening to shut it down for refurbishment.

I have organised hundreds of tours over the years and am organising another one on September 11.

This will be done on a first come, first served basis and will cost £20 each to cover the cost of the coach, which will leave from Worksop train station at 6.30am.

If you live in Bassetlaw and would like to book tickets please email mannj@parliament.uk or call 01909 506200.