This Week at Stormont

Access to Banking Services vital – Beggs

Roy Beggs MLA has expressed his disappointment at the announcement by the Ulster Bank that they will be closing their local Monkstown Branch. Roy Beggs MLA said, “I am aware of the concern of customers and of small businesses in particular at the announcement of the closure of the Monkstown branch of the Ulster Bank. Local banks are vital to local businesses in terms providing coinage and in enabling the cash sales to be lodged. This closure announcement will limit the local options available and is likely to result in additional inconvenience to customers and costs to small business when regularly banking. Whilst online banking and cashless transaction are increasing, local access to banking services remain vital. This closure announcement is making the local Monkstown post office even more important to the local community and it is vital that government ensures that local communities retain access to such banking services.”

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Given Arlene’s arrogance, should we be calling on Secretary of State to intervene now? – Beggs

Roy Beggs MLA has claimed that the DUPs disgraceful arrogance and irresponsibility regarding the £1/2b Renewable Heat Initiative additional costs and the need for an enquiry is only matched by the irresponsible & hasty manner in which Sinn Fein’s has withdrawal from the devolved institution. The Ulster Unionist MLA has called on Sammy Wilson who was Finance Minister when the scheme was created and Alastair Ross MLA who was the DETI ( Department for Enterprise, Trade and Investment) Assembly Private Secretary during this early period to account for their role in this fiasco which could cost local taxpayers £490m. Roy Beggs MLA said, “DUP Ministers ought to have recognised the need for transparency and to be willing to be held responsible for their actions through an inquiry rather than originally opposing it.    The Renewable Heat Initiative has been badly handled by DETI, DFP (Department of Finance) the First Minister and … Continue reading

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Up-date on Provision of GP Services, Glenarm

East Antrim UUP MLA Roy Beggs has recently been given an update by the Health and Social Care Board regarding the Antrim Coast Medical Practice. HSCB have advised, “Elected representatives will be aware of the upcoming retirement of Dr Glover in Antrim Coast Medical Practice in Glenarm. The Health and Social Care Board has met with neighbouring GP practices in an effort to secure General Medical Services in Glenarm. Consultation with these practices is continuing and the Board will keep elected representatives and patients appraised of the situation. Dr Glover continues to provide GP services to patients of Antrim Coast Medical Practice and patients are encouraged to remain registered with this practice.” Roy Beggs MLA said “It is of concern that there are still no new arrangements for GP services as of yet, for the Antrim Coast Medical Practice patients. However, developments in the Bannview Practice, Portadown, must heighten concerns to … Continue reading

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Beggs opposes Government plans to raise Insurance Premium Tax

East Antrim MLA Roy Beggs has criticised government plans to raise Insurance Premium Tax from 10 per cent to 12 per cent next June, as “a threat to road safety as there are fears that this rise could lead to more uninsured drivers”. Mr Beggs also said that “Buildings and Contents insurance should be treated as an essential, but there could be those, especially in less affluent households, who may wonder if it is a luxury they can no longer afford”. “Insurance Premium Tax was introduced in 1994 at 2.5 per cent, then raised to 4 per cent in 1987, 5 per cent in 1999, 6 per cent in 2015, 9.5 per cent in 2015 and 10 per cent this year so average families have seen their insurance premiums rise by an average of £90 since 2015”. Mr Beggs described Insurance Premium Tax as “an essential to families and that … Continue reading

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Beggs urges local farmers to sign up to farm safety workshops

East Antrim Ulster Unionist MLA Roy Beggs has urged local farmers to sign up for the new farm safety workshops under the Farm Families Key Skills initiative. Mr Beggs said “This training is delivered to farmers throughout Northern Ireland and is free for farmers, members of the farm family and employees to attend”. “Major injuries on local farms are up 10% on 2014 figures, but the causes of injuries and deaths on farms have remained the same and these risks can be dealt with by raising awareness and adopting safe practises.” These short workshops start in 2017 and cover among many other things the four main dangers associated with working on farms namely – slurry, animals, falls and equipment – known as (SAFE). The local MLA said that “for further information or to register for a workshop please go online to http://www.cafre.ac.uk/industry-support/farm-family-key-skills/ . “As someone who comes from a farming … Continue reading

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