Category Archives: Welfare Reform

The Work Programme is not working for those most in need

Following the Select Committee’s recent inquiry into the Work Programme, Dame Anne led a debate in Westminster Hall highlighting that, while the programme might be delivering sustained job outcomes for some people, it was not effective in helping those who have major barriers to work, in particular, those who have a disability or health problem.

In fact, where previous specialist welfare-to-work programmes for people with disabilities achieved job outcomes between 10% and 30%, recent statistics show that the Work Programme has achieved a success rating of only 5.8%.

Dame Anne said: “The Work Programme is failing those furthest from the labour market.

“Major changes to the way in which the contracts are delivered, and to how the differential pricing structure works, need to be made if the Work Programme is to begin properly delivering job outcomes for those with the highest barriers to work.”

The new Minister for Employment, Esther McVey MP admitted that the Work Programme was “not perfect”.

A full transcript of the debate can be read here:

Dame Anne Begg MP Appears on Sunday Politics Scotland

Dame Anne Begg MP, as chair of the Work and Pensions Select Committee appeared on the Sunday Politics to discuss the Work Capability Assessment, and the problems caused by ATOS.

You can watch Anne appear on at 1 hour 12 minutes on the link below.

Scope Parliamentary reception for campaign on better local disability services

Dame Anne attended Scope’s Parliamentary reception in Westminster which launched the charity’s campaign for better local services for disabled children and their families.

To launch the campaign, Sally Phillips (known for her roles in ‘Miranda’ and ‘Bridget Jones’s Diary’) was at the reception.

Taking centre stage during the reception was a giant Christmas tree adorned with handmade ‘wish stars’ decorated by members of the public and inscribed with messages to the MPs stating why supporting disabled children and their families matters.

Dame Anne said: “I am in support of Scope’s campaign and share their belief that it is vital for all who need services to have access to them in their local area.”

Dame Anne Begg MP at Scope Christmas parliamentary reception
Dame Anne Begg MP at Scope Christmas parliamentary reception

Mental Health discrimination speech in Parliament debate

Dame Anne spoke at Friday’s debate on Mental Health discrimination in Parliament.

Her two speeches are available to read online:

The debate can also be watched online on Parliament TV. Dame Anne speaks at 10.01am.

Work and Pensions Select Committee questions Iain Duncan Smith

Today in Parliament, the Work and Pensions Select Committee, which Dame Anne chairs, questioned the Rt. Hon Iain Duncan Smith and Lord Freud, on Universal Credit. This highly controversial system was under direct scrutiny from the committee today.

The entire meeting can be watched on-line on the Parliament website.

Dame Anne questions Atos Paralympics sponsorship in Parliament

At Friday’s Department of Culture Media and Sport questions, Dame Anne questioned the sensitivity of Atos’s decision to sponsor the Paralympic games:

“The Paralympics were a huge success and the Channel 4 coverage was wonderful. Does the right hon. Lady agree that it was particularly insensitive of Atos to sponsor not only the games but the lanyards, so that every Paralympian was forced to wear the name of Atos around their neck? Perhaps Atos had a perverse reason for doing that, because a much wider audience now knows how it has been treating disabled people in the work capability assessment.”

Also in the debate, Katy Clark MP pointed out that “in contrast to the fantastic performances by the Paralympic athletes, the performance of Atos was slammed by the National Audit Office.”