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eBrief from

Cathy Jamieson MP
30 th January 2012 5th December 2011 Ministers pressed on economy

to worry about paying a gas bill, or saving for a kids school trip, but several hundred children living in families in Kilmarnock and Loudoun are going to be hurt by these tax credit changes.

Unfair Bankers Bonuses must end

We used our Opposition Day debate last week to highlight how a Bankers Bonus Tax could help get young people into work. People who have been in touch with me rightly cannot understand why, at a time when they are facing the biggest squeeze on their incomes in a generation, the Government has failed to act on excessively high pay and bonuses. The massive bonus due to be paid to the Chief Executive of RBS, which was bailed out by the taxpayer, is to be paid in shares, meaning he could end up receiving well over 1 million. Given that the Chancellor promised a year ago that bank chief executive pay would be linked to SME lending, news of this bonus is a slap in the face for thousands of small businesses struggling to get the finance they need. RBS missed its lending target in the third quarter of last year and net lending to businesses by the countrys banks fell in nine out of the last 12 months.

Official figures released last week confirmed that the economy shrank at the end of last year. We all know that there are tough decisions ahead, but the Governments decision to go too far and too fast is backfiring. Rising unemployment and a lack of growth means the Government wont now balance the books by 2015 and are set to borrow 158 billion more than planned. Thats a bill for an extra 6,500 for every family in Britain money that nobody can afford. Last week also saw the Prime Minister highlighting how the retail sector is a vital part of the economy. At Treasury Questions, I pressed the Government on why they are going ahead with plans to axe working tax credits for couples in working over 16, but less than 24 hours per week. Many of these workers are in the retail sector, and just wont be able to find the extra hours to make it worthwhile working. It makes no sense to hit people who are trying to do the right thing and take jobs, even though they are part time. Meanwhile the Economic Secretary to the Treasury, Chloe Smith, caused astonishment when she stated that poverty was not about income. That shows just how out of touch the Government is, and its a real insult to workers on low pay. Perhaps Ms Smith has never had

USDAW wins Woolworths case

Usdaw has won compensation worth up to 67.8 million for over 24,000 former employees of Woolworths made redundant when the firm collapsed at the end of 2008. I have added my support to the Daily Record backed campaign to secure payments for those who worked in the smaller stores who are losing out due to a loophole in the legislation.

Government loses Court case on Feed in Tariffs

At Energy and Climate Change Questions last week, I told the Secretary of State about the chaos that had been caused by the Govts botched changes to the Feed in Tariffs for Solar PV. The Government went ahead with changes to the FiT, before their own consultation on the issue had even ended, and as a result have lost the case raised in the courts. Their actions saw an increase of 1100 % in applications for the scheme, as people understandably tried to meet the deadline. This caused real problems for local Solar PV businesses, who then had problems sourcing supplies quickly, and were being pressed to get roof installations completed during the worst weather of the winter.

to educate young people about what they endured through the Holocaust Educational Trusts Outreach programme. Having made a visit to Auschwitz a few years ago, I feel strongly that we should do everything we can to ensure that todays generation is fully aware of the atrocities which were committed, and ensure that this never happens again.

Celebrating Burns Day in Parliament

I always enjoy Burns Day, not least because I can speak in my own Ayrshire dialect without anyone having a go at me! Local people listening to Prime Ministers Questions might think the PM would have done well to take Ayrshire advice on his pronunciation. However, there were no such difficulties later in the evening when the Burns Supper organised by National Grid bravely invited two of us with Burns country connections myself and Lord Foulkes- to speak, along with Glasgow Boy Anas Sarwar MP!

Holocaust Memorial Day

Killie set for Cup Final

I joined thousands of Killie fans at Hampden on Saturday for the nail biting semi final against our local rivals. Well done to supporters of both clubs, who created a great atmosphere. Im now looking forward to the final, and hope the town can get behind the team.

Next Drop In Surgery

Last weeks Holocaust Memorial Day marked the 67th anniversary of the liberation of Auschwitz-Birkenau, the Nazi concentration and extermination camp which is the site of the largest mass murder in history. I signed the Book of Commitment at the House of Commons, and paid my tribute to the extraordinary men and women who, having survived the Holocaust, now work
2 Friday 3rd February 10 am New Farm Loch Community Centre For future dates see You can also use my esurgery form or call 01563 522361 for an appointment