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UK BUDGET ANNOUNCED

Despite the spin from the Tories in London, Scotland’s budget will be lower in real terms that it was when the Tories came to power. It does not reverse £13.9bn of cumulative cuts or provide our people and services with the full support they need.

I was pleased that SNP calls to act on the tampon tax was heeded, and also my own calls to end the 20% tax on digital publications. However, many of the UK Government’s abhorrent policies remain. The two-child Tax Credit cap is still affecting 8,500 Scottish families. The minimum wage is still set below the real Living Wage. And the £200bn immoral and financial blackhole, Trident, will remain on the Clyde while children live in poverty, people go homeless, and families go hungry.

There was once again no strategy for the steel sector; no protection of workers’ rights; and no commitment to match the Scottish Government’s efforts to achieve net zero carbon emissions.

Urgent action is needed to tackle the economic crisis coronavirus is causing: the UK Government should have matched the Scottish Government’s NHS spending. UK Statutory Sick Pay also lags behind the European average at £94 per week whereas Ireland is offering £266 – for all workers, including the self-employed.

The Scottish Government now needs clarity on what the UK Government’s coronavirus programme will means for spending here. Barnett consequentials must be passed on so we can effectively deal with the problem.

In summary, this year’s budget is a continuation of the budgets the Tories have been forcing on Scotland for ten years. Our economy is being undermined, our services are being hamstrung, and peoples’ incomes are being squeezed. With independence and all the powers at Scotland’s disposal, we could introduce a budget that meets the needs of people across Scotland to deliver for them and allow them to live a life of opportunity, prosperity and respect.

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Trident nuclear safety reports suppressed by the Ministry of Defence

FULL ARTICLE: Trident nuclear safety reports suppressed by the Ministry of Defence

This is an outrageous decision from the MoD. For years there have been a number of safety failures and concerns. People, especially in Scotland, have a right to know about the dangers right on their doorstep.

Nuclear weapons are a vanity project of the UK which ignores the wishes of people in Scotland and endangers people and world peace.

While people go hungry, billions are spent on these relics. They must be scrapped.

The UK Government has said it is committed to international nuclear disarmament. It’s time for them to start working towards it rather than merely paying lip service.

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This Week #28

18th – 24th July 2016


ThisWeekMon

On Monday, the day was dominated by the debate on whether the UK government should spend billions of pounds on the country’s inhumane nuclear deterrent. Marion, just like 55 of Scotland’s 56 MPs, voted against the prospect.

The Motherwell and Wishaw MP was also on hand to deliver an impromptu speech at the Anti Trident Rally in Parliament Square:

https://www.facebook.com/marionfellows/videos/10155098965096632/



ThisWeekTue

https://www.facebook.com/marionfellows/photos/a.10153716592906632.1073741826.28642546631/10155101022531632/?type=3



ThisWeekWed

Wednesday was a busy day at Parliament with meetings, briefings, Prime Minister’s Questions and the Education Select Committee meeting.



ThisWeekThu

On Thursday, Marion was present in the Chamber for questions on Women and Equalities, asking the Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Works Pensions:

I welcome the Minister, a former colleague on the Education Select Committee, to her position. She will be aware of the Government’s long-promised Work and Health programme and of how disabled people are still awaiting publication of the Green Paper to map out what employment support will be made available for those with disabilities. Does she agree that her Government must now map out the timeline for publication and ensure that sufficient funding is made available for disabled people, who have borne the brunt of Tory austerity cuts?

Caroline Nokes MP replied:

I thank the hon. Lady for her welcome. I very much enjoyed our time together on the Select Committee. She is absolutely right that we will publish a Green Paper to engage with disability groups and disabled individuals in order to build a strategy that works for them. It is critical that we get more disabled people into work. I spent some time before the general election as Parliamentary Private Secretary to the then Minister for Disabled People, and I know how hard he worked to promote the Disability Confident campaign and to ensure good examples of companies we could champion for showing that employing disabled people was good not only for disabled people but for the economy and individual companies.



ThisWeekFri

https://www.facebook.com/marionfellows/posts/10155109860276632

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This Week #27

11th – 17th July 2016


ThisWeekMon

On Monday, Marion was present at the Westminster Hall debate on School Penalty Fines and Authorised Absence, during which she gave an impressive contribution.

It is important that we listen to the almost 200,000 people who signed the petition, because this is a real-life issue for them and their families. Of course educational attainment is important, and of course there are links to attendance—as a former lecturer in a further education college, I can vouch for that—but when headteachers authorise absences for good reasons and teachers know about those reasons, they can provide homework and catch-up sessions, so students can generally catch up. I very much take on board what the hon. Member for Isle of Wight said: a two-week absence should be seen as a 14-day absence across the whole school year. If a student is attending regularly, a one or two-week holiday might not make much different to their attainment.

Marion’s speech can be read in full here.



ThisWeekTue

 

https://www.facebook.com/marionfellows/posts/10155079393396632

Tuesday brought with it a busy day of meetings and briefings. Marion also took time out of her day to mark Srebrenica Memorial Day. 

Srebrenica

The Motherwell and Wishaw MP was keen to honour those were murdered during the genocide 21 years ago.

Marion signed the Remembering Srebrenica Book of Pledges promising to ensure that the lessons from the genocide are learnt and community cohesion is strengthened across Scotland.

The 12th of July 2016 marked the 21st anniversary of the worst atrocity on European soil since World War Two when over 8,000 men and boys were murdered just because of their faith. The Charity Remembering Srebrenica, which organises memorial events across the UK, says that this year it is time to act to counter the rising threat of Hate Crime in the UK.

Tuesday also saw Marion receive an answer to a written question she had submitted on doping in the Olympics:

To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport, if he will make representations to the International Olympic Committee on upgrading the medals of British athletes who were placed behind athletes found guilty of doping in competitions.

Tracey Crouch, the Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport replied:

Recommendation 17 of the International Olympic Committee’s Agenda 2020 seeks to honour clean athletes by awarding an Olympic medal following a positive doping case. This involves organising formal medal ceremonies for medal-winners who receive their Olympic medal following the disqualification of a competitor.

Last month Australian athlete Jared Tallent was presented with an Olympic gold medal for the 50km walk at the London 2012 Games following the disqualification of a Russian athlete for a doping offence. We expect the same treatment for British athletes.



ThisWeekWed

https://www.facebook.com/marionfellows/photos/a.10153714643836632.1073741825.28642546631/10155082590236632/?type=3

On Wednesday, Marion delivered a fantastic speech in the Westminster Hall debate on the implications for the UK steel industry of the outcome of the EU referendum. In her contribution, the Motherwell and Wishaw MP championed the saving of the former Tata plants in Scotland and highlighted the UK government’s lack of a post-Brexit plan:

From the start of the steel crisis, the Scottish Government have exhibited tremendous leadership and collective decision making. That demonstrates what is possible when a Government have the will to intervene and have the interests of the workers at heart, but most of all when there is clear leadership and a coherent plan. Following the result of the EU referendum, it is entirely apparent that there was no plan from the UK Government for how to deal with a leave vote. In fact, we are still waiting for the change of Prime Minister today, and we still do not know who will be in charge of the business of steel next week, or even tomorrow. There are also real difficulties in the Opposition, who are still in-fighting rather than moving forward, but I pay complete and sincere tribute to those Opposition Members who have been fighting day and night for their constituents and their steel industry. I cannot say strongly enough what I have learned from them about how best to achieve things and move forward the steel industry in Scotland, half of which is based in my constituency.

You can read Marion’s speech in its entirety here.

https://www.facebook.com/marionfellows/posts/10155085650491632



ThisWeekThu

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All but one of Scotland’s MPs voted against Trident renewal

Theresa May has claimed to be a Prime Minister who will represent all of the UK. But, despite 58 of Scotland’s 59 MPs voting against Trident; despite 96 out of 129 of Scotland’s MSPs voting against also; despite countless Scottish trade unions, churches and other bodies opposing nuclear weapons, these weapons of mass destruction will still be based on the Clyde.

During times of austerity and one of the most far right governments in the modern era, we cannot afford to waste £179 billion on weapons which do not keep us safe from the main threat we face today: international terrorism.

We have been told we cannot afford to fund renewables; we cannot afford public sector jobs; we cannot afford to support the disabled; we cannot afford to help the homeless, but we are expected to believe that we can afford nuclear weapons which do not keep us safe and in fact pose a threat to the security of Scotland.

It is reflective of the UK Government’s priorities that they can find money for nuclear weapons and base them on the Clyde against the express will of the Scottish people. These relics of the Cold War must be abolished and removed from the Clyde.

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Impromptu Anti Trident Rally Speech

I was unexpectedly asked to speak at the Anti Trident Rally in Parliament Square this evening.  My young constituent was there with his grandparents who kindly let him assist me…

https://www.facebook.com/marionfellows/videos/10155098965096632/

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This Week #8


Monday (22nd February 2016)

IOSH
Marion at the IOSH reception.

On Monday, Marion was present at a reception held by the Institution of Occupational Safety and Health (IOSH) designed to promote mental health at work. IOSH is the world’s biggest professional health and safety membership organisation, campaigning on issues that affect millions of working people.

LSETweet


Tuesday (23rd February 2016)

MPsAgainstTrident


Wednesday (24th February 2016)

Wednesday brought with it the weekly meeting of the Education Select Committee at which Marion was in attendance, prior to a day of parliamentary duties & business.

Marion was also in attendance at a meeting regarding the Child Rescue Alert campaign, further details of which can be found here.

 


Thursday (25th February 2016)

On Thursday, Marion attended the latest meeting of the Scottish Government’s Steel Taskforce, continuing the fight to save the steelworks & related jobs at the Dalziel & Clydebridge sites.

Thursday also marked the day in which the SNP secured a deal ensuring Scotland won’t be a penny worse off with an agreement reached on the new fiscal framework.

 


Friday (26th February 2016)

Marion was back in the constituency in Friday working from her office in the Dalziel Building in Motherwell. Over the course of the day, Marion met with UNISON officials Marie Quigley and John Young – a positive discussion was had regarding general matters affecting the union’s members within Motherwell & Wishaw.

Marion meets with UNISON officials.
Marion meets with UNISON officials.

Marion also took the opportunity to pay a visit to the Jobs Fair held at Motherwell’s Jobcentre Plus during which the MP met with various agencies & employers who were on hand to provide information to prospective employees. As well as meeting young people on work experience placements, Marion spent time talking to Tata Steel workers who are receiving ongoing support from various agencies including Jobcentre Plus.

Marion meets local people at the Jobcentre Plus Jobs Fair.
Marion meets local people at the Jobcentre Plus Jobs Fair.

 


Saturday (27th February 2016)

Book

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MPs Against Trident

The SNP stands against the renewal of Trident. We should be spending billions on schools, hospitals and policing; not weapons of mass destruction that can never be used.

The threats that we face today as a country are entirely different from those years ago. We must adapt to the world around us and rid the world of nuclear weapons.

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