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eBrief from

Cathy Jamieson MP
5th March 2012

different forms of investment from both private and public sectors. I also raised the ongoing

Petrol Prices at Record Levels

Last week saw petrol and diesel prices hit a record high, adding more pressure to household budgets. A number of constituents have contacted me about the Fair Fuel campaign, which has presented a report to the Treasury, ahead of the budget, calling for the Government to cancel the planned duty rise in August. Constituents have also asked about the fuel duty stabiliser promised by the Government. I have called for the Chancellor to make a temporary cut to VAT in his March budget, which would have the immediate effect of cutting around 3p per litre off the price of petrol and diesel, as well as helping our economy in other ways. So far, there has been no positive response, but we will continue to press the case in the run up to the Budget.

problems of turnaround funding where town centres, industrial estates and business parks need support to regenerate, modernise and improve their local environments. I followed up on my earlier meeting with the representatives of the German Sparkassen local banks, by suggesting that we should look at how we could create regional investment banks.

Fair Trade returns to Parliament

FSB Business Breakfast

I joined the Governments Financial Secretary to the Treasury to speak at a Business breakfast in Parliament, which focussed on alternative sources of finance for small and medium sized businesses. I spoke about access to affordable banking, which many small businesses have told me remains a problem, and how we might develop alternatives through the mutual sector and

With continuing debates around irresponsible capitalism and excesses of extraordinary bonuses, it was refreshing to join colleagues at a Fair Trade event in Parliament. We heard about the positive benefits of fair trade on cocoa producers, whose products are the main ingredients in fair trade chocolate. We also heard more about the success story of the development of fairly traded olive oil in Palestine. I have called for people to have an Ethical Easter by looking out for Fair Trade Easter eggs this year!

Financial Services Bill Committee

Faces in the Sand Exhibition

Outside of politics, one of my interests is photography, and I was delighted to bring this together with my longstanding interest in the Western Sahara, by hosting an exhibition in Parliament of photographs by Robert Griffin. The opening night coincided with an event in Parliament involving arts organisation Sandblast, in conjunction with the All Party Group on the Western Sahara.

We continued our line by line scrutiny of the Bill in 4 sessions of the Committee last week. While much of the discussion was around the technical aspects of the future regulation of banking and financial services, I was able to make points about the ongoing problems of those who have lost out from the collapse of Farepak. Colleagues also highlighted Equitable Life and Arch Cru. I have been contacted by constituents who have lost out in all of these. If you would like more information about the Committee proceedings click here

March Surgeries
Friday 9th March 10am Darvel Town Hall Saturday 10th March10am Mauchline Community Centre Friday 16th March 10am Crosshouse Area Centre Saturday 17th March 10am Catrine Community Centre Fri 23rd March 10 am Kilmaurs Community Centre Saturday 24th March 10am Hurlford Community Centre For surgery dates in April see my website

Long term Conditions Alliance Scotland event

I continued to highlight problems raised by constituents around the Welfare Reform Bill, when I joined Drew Smith MSP to speak at an event organised by the Long Term Conditions Alliance. Scotland. The Scottish Parliament has now set up a Committee to look at the implications in Scotland, and how funding to support disabled people should be allocated.

esurgery cathy, LTCAS emphasises people not patients in their work, and has joined with a range of partners to produce reports and offer services. More information is available here

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