Tag Archives: mp

Royal Kathina Ceremony

Dame Anne today attended the local Thai community’s Royal Kathina Ceremony at Culter Hall which was host to Buddhist monks.

She said: “Today was great fun: noisy, colourful and joyous. I was delighted to be able to hand over a cheque on behalf of the Deeside community which will go towards their project aiming to secure a new cultural community centre.”

Royal Kathina
Royal Kathina

 

Royal Kathina 2
Royal Kathina 2

Dame Anne backs fight against Breast Cancer and wants constituents to join her

Dame Anne is backing the fight against breast cancer by taking part in Breast Cancer Campaign’s award winning fundraiser, wear it pink day – and she wants constituents to join her.

Dame Anne Begg MP - Wear it Pink Breast Cancer
Dame Anne Begg MP – Wear it Pink Breast Cancer

Now in its 10th year, wear it pink, on Friday 26th October 2012 will see supporters from all over the country in schools, colleges and businesses embracing the event’s new theme, superheroes. The theme stems from the charity’s belief that everybody who joins the fight – from people affected by breast cancer, to Breast Cancer Campaign scientists and all wear it pink participants – is a superhero.

Breast Cancer Campaign is asking everyone to pull on something pink and donate £2.00, whether it’s a superhero cape, pink socks or pink pants you wear over your tights, you can help the charity achieve its target of raising £2 million, so they can continue to fund ground-breaking research.

Join the hundreds of thousands of people who take part in wear it pink every year. With your help Breast Cancer Campaign can improve survival rates for the one in eight women who experience breast cancer during their lifetime.

Dame Anne Begg MP says “Every year in the UK, around 48,000 women and 340 men are diagnosed with breast cancer. This is why we all need to support wear it pink day on 26th October, so that Breast Cancer Campaign can continue to fund research which will one day lead to a cure.”

To take part in the UK’s original and best pink day visit wearitpink.co.uk and register to receive your free fundraising pack now. Vanish is backing the fight against breast cancer for the third year running by raising an incredible £250,000 for wear it pink.

ATOS debate speech (transcript)

Below is the transcript of Dame Anne’s contribution to the debate on ATOS and it’s role in carrying out Work Capability assessments for those applying for Employment Support Allowance held in Westminster Hall on Tuesday 4th September 2012:

Dame Anne Begg (Aberdeen South) (Lab): Congratulations to my hon. Friend the Member for Rutherglen and Hamilton West (Tom Greatrex) on securing this important debate. This is my first time speaking after my extended absence and therefore a good subject.

The Minister of State, Department for Work and Pensions (Chris Grayling): On behalf of everybody in the room and in the House, I welcome the hon. Lady back to the House. We are delighted to see her in such good shape. We were sad to hear of the difficulties in the long period of recovery she has had to go through. She is very welcome back.

Dame Anne Begg: I thank the Minister for being gracious. He may not be quite so gracious by the time he has heard what I have to say. I do not think that the Government have grasped how disastrous the ESA assessment system is. It is not something that can be fixed by a few tweaks here and there; we tried that with the Harrington review. What we have heard today in the Chamber—and in the “Dispatches” and “Panorama” programmes filmed in June this year—suggests that not much has changed. The people complaining are not just the usual suspects, not just the radical crips, the workshy or those who want money without being assessed. They are ordinary people, most of whom worked hard all their lives until the sky fell in and they lost their job because of an illness or an acquired disability

It is not enough for Government to say that the genuine claimant has nothing to fear. In too many cases, genuine claimants are not scoring any points in their initial assessment. There is something fundamentally wrong with the system and the contract that Atos is delivering. When the British Medical Association votes at its conference to say that the work capability assessment is not fit for purpose there is something wrong with the system. When GPs are reporting an increased workload, not just as a result of providing reports but as a result of treating patients whose condition has worsened as a result of their WCA experience, there is something wrong with the system.

When my constituent, who has lost his job because he has motor neurone disease, scores zero on his WCA and is found fully fit for work, there is something wrong with the system. When that same constituent appears in front of a tribunal and in less than five minutes is awarded 15 points, there is something wrong with the system. When people with rapidly progressive illnesses are not automatically put in the support group, there is something wrong with the system. When some people would rather do without the money to which they are absolutely entitled rather than submit to the stress of a WCA, there is something wrong with the system. When someone with a severe illness has to fight for a year through an appeal to get the correct benefit, only to be called in almost immediately for another assessment, there is something wrong with the system. When the recall and assessment happen the following year, and the following year, there is something wrong with the system. When people feel so persecuted, there is something wrong with the system. To top it all, they lose their contributory ESA after only a year if they are in the WRAG group.

When up to 40% of appeals are successful and there is no penalty for the company carrying out the assessments, there is something wrong with the contract. When so many appeals result in an award of ESA support group status when the original assessment was no points, there is something wrong with the contract. When there is no penalty for a high percentage of wrong decisions, there is something wrong with the contract. When there is no incentive for assessors to get the assessment correct first time, there is something wrong with the contract. It is time for the Government to act, because there is something fundamentally wrong with the whole system.

Text of full debate available from: http://www.publications.parliament.uk

Video of full debate available from: http://www.parliamentlive.tv/Main/Player.aspx?meetingId=11307&st=10:58:30

Dame Anne speaks at 2h 7mins.

You can also watch a clip from the debate here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zeatCaWVGEQ

Dame Anne Praises North East Gold Medallist Paralympian Neil Fachie

Today Dame Anne  praised Paralympics athlete Neil Fachie for winning Team GB’s third gold medal in the 2012 Paralympics track cycling. Fachie, who is from Aberdeen, secured the win in the one kilometre time-trial on Saturday.

Dame Anne said: “I am delighted for Neil who has once again broken a world record. His success highlights the sporting talent we have here in Aberdeen, following on from our Olympic medallists last month.”