My name is Anna and I am currently in my final year of a social science degree at North Lindsey which involves a number of different subjects, one of which is politics. I'm a mum of 2 and was born and bred in Scunthorpe.
I am volunteering in Nic’s office to gain some experience in this area by looking at the duties Nic and his team undertake at the local constituency office.
I thought I would use my first blog to talk about the contentious issue that is Universal credit. This is relatively new to the Scunthorpe area with it being rolled out last week by the jobcentre. From the outside it appears that this is a great way to help people manage their money more efficiently. However, it has to be noted that nationally, where it is already in place, there have been many reported problems, and the main one is that many claimants have developed significant rent arrears.
Nic, back in September, asked for the Government to reconsider the expansion of it, to attempt to ease the pressures present already in the areas where it is already in place. At the very least, there should be agencies in place where claimants can get any help they may need, especially with the housing benefit element. Some of the requests put forward during a meeting by landlords at a round table meeting, were to end the 7 day waiting period for new claims. To improve the digital element for full service and to create a transitional funding pot so that landlords can support vulnerable tenants.
Whether this will affect Scunthorpe residents in the same way remains to be seen as it is still in its infancy in this area.