Dame Anne recently met with the Feed4for5 team, a group of students from Aberdeen College taking part in the Money For Life challenge which aims to improve money management throughout the UK.
After conducting some research, the team found that the average person spends £1320 on fast food each year. In order to tackle this problem they want to offer cheaper, healthier alternatives which can feed four people for £5. They have built a competition around their project, which invites people to submit their own Feed4for5 recipes to the group’s facebook page, with the most liked recipe receiving a special prize.
Member of the group, Jessica Cook stated: “We chose this particular issue to work with because these are problems that we are growing up with and we want to highlight the issues of saving the environment, putting our money to good use and lowering obesity levels. We want to highlight these to raise awareness essentially and to teach people ways that they can help stop these issues from getting worse. Our main goal is to show people that there are many ways to save money when it comes to food.”
Dame Anne said, ‘I was delighted to meet the Feed4for5 team who are working hard to reduce the amount of fast food which we consume. We all lead hectic lives and I know how easy it can be to be tempted to order a takeaway after a busy day. However, taking part in the Feed4for5 challenge will hopefully show people how cooking from scratch can be cheaper and healthier!”
For recipes, hints, tips and tricks for cheaper, healthier eating, visit their Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/FEED4for5?ref=stream&hc_location=timeline or follow them on Twitter https://twitter.com/4_for_5.
Dame Anne Begg, MP for Aberdeen South, has backed Which?’s Watchdog not Lapdog campaign to show support for a strong, open and proactive financial regulator that stands up for consumers.
The Financial Services Bill, which is currently going through parliament, will change how the financial services industry is regulated, creating a new regulator the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) with responsibility for protecting consumers.
Dame Anne, who today adopted the Which? Watchdog, agrees that after the financial crisis and disasters like the payment protection insurance (PPI) mis-selling scandal, the new regulator must:
- Be ready to show its teeth – issue fines that are big enough to act as deterrents and promote competition by making sure products are transparent, simple to compare and easy to switch between.
- Not be afraid to bark – tell consumers when firms are found to have broken the rules, what it is investigating and what it is going to do to stop it.
- Sniff out dodgy products – take a more proactive approach and ban dodgy financial products and misleading adverts before they cause problems. Lessons must be learnt from the payment protection insurance mis-selling scandal.
Dame Anne says:
“At a time when money is tight it’s really important that the new financial regulator is a watchdog that puts consumers at the heart of everything it does.”
Which? Chief Executive, Peter Vicary-Smith, says:
“People have told us they want a regulator that stands up to the financial services industry and fights on behalf of the consumer. The Which? Watchdog represents everything the new financial regulator must be. We need a financial watchdog that is ready to show its teeth to the banks, bark at poor customer service and sniff out dodgy financial products.”
Dame Anne Begg, MP for Aberdeen South, is backing a new e-petition calling on the Government to intervene in the high-cost credit market before legal loan sharks are able to take advantage of cash-strapped consumers over the Christmas season.
Speaking after the petition’s launch, Dame Anne said: “With Christmas approaching, residents in Aberdeen South are likely to come under increased financial pressure and many will be considering taking out high-cost, short-term loans. I am determined that they should be protected from exploitation by the high-cost credit sector – that’s why I’m signing a petition calling on the Government to introduce caps on the cost of credit before Christmas, and urging people in Aberdeen South to do the same.”
The petition has been launched in the wake of new research from the Debt Advice Foundation which shows that 41% of those struggling with debt claim their financial problems are the result of high-interest or payday lending. One in four people who take out a payday loan need the money to buy food or essentials for their household, with 44% using them to pay off other debts. In addition, Citizens Advice has recorded a fourfold increase in the numbers of people getting into debt problems as a result of borrowing from payday lenders in the space of just two years.
If the e-petition receives 100,000 signatures it will go before the Backbench Business Committee to be considered for a debate in the House of Commons. The petition can be found here: http://epetitions.direct.gov.uk/petitions/20219.