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MP WELCOMES RECORD HEALTH SPENDING IN SCOTTISH BUDGET

UK GOVERNMENT “MUST DELIVER ON ELECTION PLEDGES”

Marion Fellows, SNP MP for Motherwell and Wishaw, has this week welcomed the Scottish Government’s budget which includes record spending of £15bn for health and social care.

But the Scottish Government’s has had to estimate its budget due to the UK Government setting its budget in March. Scottish Government Ministers weren’t notified of the UK Government’s budget day and found out after it was announced in the media.

Spending is based on commitments made by the Tories during the General Election. If the UK Government does not meet its election pledges, then the Scottish Government’s budget will have to be revised.

Key pledges include:

  • Record funding of £15bn for Health and Social Care – including £117m in mental health;
  • £800m and an additional £300m to build more homes beyond the 50,000 target of this Parliament.
  • £3.4bn – part of which will be towards the new Scottish Child Payment which will lift 30,000 children out of poverty.
  • £270m in rail investment and an extra £16m on concessionary travel.
  • £37m extra for Policing.
  • A real terms increase of 4.3% for local authorities.
  • For the third consecutive year, more than half of Scottish income tax payers will pay less tax than if they lived elsewhere in the UK.

Commenting, Mrs Fellows said:

“The SNP Scottish Government’s budget has committed to invest in the public services we care, build the homes we need, and create the jobs and transport infrastructure that will allow North Lanarkshire and Scotland to thrive.

“The Scottish budget is set against the backdrop of heightened uncertainty and risk, created by the UK Government following their decision to delay the UK budget until March. These are based on commitments made during the general election. Boris Johnson must now deliver on these promises in full.

“The SNP is listening to communities and delivering on their needs. Our NHS and mental health services are being put to the forefront of our budget with record £15bn investment. The new Scottish Child Payment will lift 30,000 children out of poverty. More money is being invested in housing so we can exceed our already ambitious target of 50,000.

“This is a budget for all of Scotland which is being delivered through a fair tax system where for the third consecutive year, more than half of Scottish income tax payers will pay less tax than if they lived elsewhere in the UK.”

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This Week #7 (2018)

Monday 22nd October

STORY: SNP MP OFFERS PERSONAL REFLECTION ON WORLD MENOPAUSE DAY



Tuesday 23rd October



Wednesday 24th October



Thursday 25th October



Friday 26th October



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Council Budget Demo

This morning, North Lanarkshire Councillors met at the Civic Centre in Motherwell to discuss the council budget which could see cuts being handed down to workers and the wider community.

I was keen to get along to the demonstration outside the meeting to show support for those who will be directly affected by a potential Labour-Tory budget of cuts.

I was pleased to discuss concerns with members of Unison and GMB, as well as others promoting causes such as the Save Newarthill Library campaign.

It was an impressive turnout and those within North Lanarkshire Coucil seeking to pass such cuts cannot have missed the anger on show.

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What does the Scottish Budget mean for North Lanarkshire?

Find out what the SNP Scottish Government’s budget means for North Lanarkshire.

💊 Record health spending of over £13.1 billion, with NHS Lanarkshire receiving over £1.1 billion in the next financial year;

📖 Over £16.8 million going direct to schools across North and South Lanarkshire to tackle the attainment gap between pupils from the least and most wealthy backgrounds;

👮‍♂️ Protection for the frontline police budget and ensuring our emergency services keep VAT savings;

📈 A real terms increase in day to day spending on local council services in North and South Lanarkshire; and

👨‍👩‍👧‍👦  Investment of almost a quarter of a billion in our plan to near double provision of childcare and early years education.

And more!

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A Budget for Scotland!

On the areas where the Scottish Government has the power, the SNP is breaking from Westminster mediocrity and is delivering for Scotland.

The budget will protect public services and ensure the lowest earners receive a tack cut while those at the top pay a bit more. 70 per cent of individuals will not pay any more in tax than they do now for given incomes and 55 per cent of taxpayers will pay marginally less tax than they would if they lived elsewhere in the UK.

£170 million more has been allocated to Local Government and local services – over £10 million more for North Lanarkshire!

We will retain the 3%/2% split in pay policy to ensure lower earners benefit the most, but we will increase the threshold from £30,000 to £36,500. The new pay policy will ensure that the vast majority of nurses and teachers receive an increase of 3%.

Including these measure, Scots will still benefit from:
● protection of public services that are free at the point of use – including free prescriptions;
● free personal care;
● free higher education;
● no business rates for 100,000 properties;
● reducing the attainment gap;
● the doubling of free childcare;
● the delivery of 50,000 new affordable homes;
● above inflation investment in police;
● above inflation investment in our universities and colleges; and
● above inflation investment in local government services the length and breadth of Scotland.

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Labour’s Budget Debate

FULL ARTICLE: MSPs can’t stop laughing at James Kelly’s answer to a simple question about the Budget

It is simply not good enough for Labour to secure a debate on the Scottish budget and argue for greater investment without bringing forward proper proposals to do so.

The First Minister said today that the SNP is open to proposals from other parties on the Scottish budget. But Labour have chosen to pull a political stunt rather than provide an alternative which the people of Scotland expect from their elected officials. Labour have shown themselves up as completely uninterested in the serious business of government.

The SNP has proposed a draft budget that would use progressive tax powers to invest in our schools and hospitals and give public sector workers a pay rise.

In the end, Labour voted with the Tories and lost. While Labour play politics, the SNP is getting on with the day job that protects public services and its workers which is what the people of Scotland want to see.

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The Scottish Government’s Budget

https://youtube.com/watch?v=8sXnQVwU5YU%3Fstart%3D2

The Scottish Government’s Budget today has ensured that many of our public services are protected from Tory cuts. While our budget has been cut from Westminster, using the powers we have the Scottish Government has reformed the income tax system to ensure those on lower incomes do not pay the price while making those on higher incomes pay their fair share. It is the most progressive income tax system in the UK. Here’s some key facts:

70% of tax payers will be paying less next year than they are now 

Over half will pay less income tax than is paid in the rest of the UK 

Public sector pay increase 

Additional funding for mental health services, particularly child and adolescent services 

£4 billion Investment in infrastructure 

£756m investment towards 50,000 affordable homes by 2021 goal (a portion of an overall £3billion investment) 

£400m increase in health resource funding and £110m investment in GP services and primary care 

£22.5m funding to protect culture and the arts 

Funding for ‘Ending Homelessness Together Fund’ 

£20.4 million of additional investment to protect the police revenue budget and an additional £5.5 million for the fire service 

£94m real terms increase in local government budget 

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Yesterday’s Budget…

The Chancellor’s budget yesterday can only be described as business as usual. More cuts to Scotland’s budget. More damage to our economy. And more communities pushed into unemployment and poverty.

Economic growth forecasts show the consequences of allowing far right Brexiteers to steer the Government by taking us out of the single market. It is the first time in years that growth is forecast to grow below 2% every year. This Government has no plan.

Pressure from the SNP has resulted in changes to the Universal Credit system and also forced the UK Government into a U-turn on charging VAT to Scottish Police and Fire Services. Despite now admitting it was wrong to tax our emergency services, the Tories will not refund the £140million robbed from us since 2013.

The Chancellor tried to spin his concession as a win for Scottish Tory MPs. However, the SNP asked for VAT to be scrapped 139 times. I even asked a PMQ on it. If the Chancellor’s U-turn is the result of Scottish Tory MPs as he says, it means the UK Government only charged VAT – starving our services of vital funds – out of sheer spite of the SNP. They’re message is clear: vote Tory and they will offer a small umbrella in the middle of a storm – or they will punish vital public services.

If this is true, what does this say about David Mundell as Scottish Secretary if he could not fight Scotland’s corner pre-2017?

Despite the Chancellor’s claim that Scotland will be £2billion better off, this is not discretionary or day-to-day spending. £1.1billion of this money is a Financial Transaction which has strings attached and has to be paid back to the UK Government. The Fraser of Allender Institute – a reputable organisation – has said the Scottish block grant will continue to decline in real terms. By 2019/20, the block grant will be around £500million lower than in 2017/18.

Scotland is being punished by a Tory Government we did not vote for. Forced austerity and an extreme Brexit, the UK Government does not care about what happens to our economy and ordinary people. We need an alternative that will not result in communities being torn apart and economic ruin.

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MP CONDEMNS FORCED, TORY AUSTERITY WHICH TARGETED LOCAL DISABLED PEOPLE

Motherwell and Wishaw MP, Marion Fellows, has condemned the Tories’ new budget of forced austerity on Scotland which targeted the disabled.

The Chancellor’s latest budget will see a £1.5 billion cut to Scotland’s funding for day to day public services over the next four years.

Reforms were planned for Personal Independence Payments with the aim to save £4 billion by 2021. The Institute for Fiscal Studies said the reforms would have affected 370,000 disabled people who would have lost on average £3,500 a year.

Following sustained pressure from the SNP benches and public outcry, DWP head, Ian Duncan Smith, stood down as Secretary for the DWP and the UK Government u-turned on its policy.

Commenting, Mrs Fellows said:

“Despite forcing Scotland into a decade of austerity, the Chancellor has still failed to meet his targets on trade, debt and deficit. The latest budget is austerity by choice; not necessity.

Austerity does not work. The SNP has outlined a viable alternative to increase spending in our public services and create the jobs that our communities need.

However, the most troubling announcement was reforms to Personal Independence Payments which would have forced further cuts to disabled members of our community.

Figures show that 875 people in Motherwell and Wishaw claim PIP and that 823 would have been affected by the cuts. People are already struggling and these punitive reforms will only make things harder for disabled members of our community.

All while corporations received a further tax cut. The Chancellor has revealed his true colours and shows that his top priority is the welfare of his corporate cronies than the welfare of disabled members of the community. This was a clear, sustained attack on the vulnerable.

The cuts are so dreadful that the architect of the Bedroom Tax, Ian Duncan Smith, has stood down from his role as the head of the Department of Work and Pensions.

I urge any constituents who are experiencing any issues with their benefits to contact my office for assistance against the DWP’s punitive ‘reforms’ and sanctions.”

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This Week #11


Monday (14th March 2016)

14Mar



Tuesday (15th March 2016)

On Tuesday, Marion undertook a busy day of parliamentary duties & activities in London.

Marion was also in attendance at a moving service to mark the 75th anniversary of the Clydebank Blitz, held at the Palace of Westminster. The Right Rev Dr Angus Morrison, the Moderator of the General Assembly of the Church of Scotland, delivered a sermon at the Chapel of St Mary Undercroft, having been invited to do so by Marion’s SNP colleague Martin Docherty-Hughes MP.

The West Dunbartonshire MP grew up in Clydebank and commented:

The Clydebank blitz was a tragedy on a huge scale and a great many of the men, women and children who survived drew strength from their faith to help them cope with such a catastrophic loss and horrific trauma.



Wednesday (16th March 2016)

16Mar

The weekly Education Select Committee meeting took place on Wednesday, discussing social work reform. For the rest of the day, Marion was engaged in a number of parliamentary meetings.



Thursday (17th March 2016)

Thursday marked the day the UK Government forced further cuts to Scotland’s budgets with George Osborne announcing his Spring budget in the Main Chamber. Without the proper powers to change the rate of income tax for the differing tax brackets, any increase to income tax would result in the lowest earners paying the price for Tory austerity.

SNP1



Friday (18th March 2016)

At the weekend it was announced at Spring Conference that Marion would be named the SNP Pensioners Champion for the Scottish Parliamentary Elections. Marion spent time recording a video which was released online on Friday.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HxQL6iB3HJE&feature=youtu.be&mc_cid=86fcf54d9c&mc_eid=0b7356af5a

On Friday afternoon, Marion visited Central Mosque in Bellshill to hold a surgery to allow local people to seek assistance with their issues. The surgery was a success with a number of constituents now receiving help and information from Marion and her constituency office staff. As an MP who is committed to helping the people of Motherwell and Wishaw, it is hoped that this surgery – and further surgeries elsewhere – will become a regular fixture. Check Marion’s website for any future updates on this.

To round off Marion’s day back in the constituency, the MP was on hand to lend her support to St Andrew’s Hospice. As an Ambassador for the hospice, Marion is challenging local communities to put on their walking shoes and join her for the Ladies Midnight Walk.

StA3

St. Andrew’s Hospice is Lanarkshire’s only specialist hospice which provides specialist care services to patients from across Lanarkshire with cancer and other life-limiting illnesses. It is a very special place which recognises the need to provide support for patients, their families and carers. The hospice is an independent charity who provide this service completely free of charge. To maintain these vital care services the Fundraising Team has to raise £65,000 each week.