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eBrief from

Cathy Jamieson MP
13th February 2012 5th December 2011 April Tax Credit Bombshell

UCATT backs Health and Safety Bill

My Labour/Co-op Colleague Luciana Berger MP introduced a 10 Minute Rule Bill last week on Health and Safety at Work. The Bill proposes an amendment to the Health and Safety at Work Act 1947, which would give the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) powers to apply for a court order to freeze part or all of a companys assets, if a death or serious injury occurs in their work place. This measure is desperately needed following several instances of companies distributing huge dividends to shareholders before going into voluntary administration, in an attempt to avoid HSE fines. The Bill is being sponsored by construction union UCATT, and I have given my support.

Last week saw UK wide media pick up on the work I have been doing to highlight how thousands of part time workers will lose out on working tax credits from April. The story was covered by BBCNews, Daily Record, the Mirror and a number of other papers. I have been working with the Trade Union USDAW, using figures I obtained from the Government, to highlight how low paid parents in part time work could lose out by as much as 4000 a year. I will be pressing the Government to drop the plan, which could mean parents being better off on the dole than in work, which makes no sense whatsoever.

Supporters Direct Football Governance Report

As Chair of the Co-op group of MPs, I was pleased to welcome the Chief Executive of Supporters Direct to Parliament, to discuss the recent report which proposes licensing of football clubs. While the report was produced with recommendations for English football, the underlying principles have much wider relevance. The Co-op was instrumental in pushing the previous Labour Government to set up Supporters Direct, and Supporters Direct Scotland has had a key role in helping establish Supporters Trusts, including our local Killie Trust.

Cabinet Office Questions on Voluntary Sector Funding

With charities and the voluntary sector feeling the squeeze, I raised concerns about funding at Cabinet Office Questions last week. All sectors are being hit, but organisations which provide advice and advocacy support are finding more people needing their help, at a time of cuts in budgets. Please let me know how cuts are affecting any organisation you are involved with, and the impact this has on services.

More action needed on Financial Inclusion for disabled

Disability charity Scope is among the organisations calling for more to be done on Financial Inclusion for disabled people. Following on from some work I have done on the issue, I met with the organisation to hear how we might bring forward amendments to legislation, and persuade banks and financial services to offer products which meet the needs of disabled customers. Particular concerns were raised that disabled people can find it hard to get insurance and mortgages even when they are working. Those who are unable to work find themselves on permanently low incomes, which can make replacing household items difficult, leading to expensive credit arrangements being used. If any constituents have experience of these issues, I would like to hear from you.

Taste Ayrshire
Taste Ayrshire is a newly formed consortium of the largest food business in Ayrshire working alongside public and private partners to promote Ayrshire as a Food Tourism Destination. An Open Meeting is being held on the 29th of February, and I have been asked to make constituents aware of the details. More information can be found on the website

Taste Ayrshire aims to position Ayrshire as the most visited food tourism destination in Scotland and at the Open Meeting an update will be provided on Taste Ayrshire progress so far, plans for 2012 and beyond and most importantly, information on the benefits for Ayrshire and how everyone can get involved.

Financial Regulation Bill Committee

I have been appointed to the Committee which will scrutinise the Governments plans for regulation of the financial services industry. The Committee will meet for two full sessions every Tuesday, and a third session on a Thursday, meaning that the next few weeks will be busy! This is an important Bill, which will deal with some of the issues concerning banks, and I am pleased that I will have the chance to be part of the Committee. Parliament is in recess this week, so I will be out and about in the constituency.

Street Surgeries
Monday 13 Feb in Lugar Tuesday 14 Feb in Gatehead Wednesday 15 Feb in Galston Friday 17 Feb in Bonnyton

Shadow Treasury meetings

My responsibilities on the Shadow Treasury team include meeting with external organisations on taxation. Last week I met with the British Association of Leisure Parks, Piers and Attractions to discuss how to boost tourism, and hear their concerns about how the industry is taxed.

Drop In Surgeries
Sat 18 Feb North West Area Centre 10am Fri 24 Feb Bellfield Com Centre 10am Sat 25 Feb Fulton Hall Fenwick 10am
Details of Surgeries for March and April are now available on my website at

or call 01563 522361 for information