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Supporting my constituency

I’ve heavily criticised the government’s announcement of a 10% hike in excise duty on spirits. I’ve no problem with alcohol being taxed but it should be based on how much alcohol is in a drink rather than how it was made. The UK government continues to discriminate against whisky and other spirits that are vital to Scotland’s economy while having much less tax on cider for example. No points for guessing whose constituencies make a lot of cider! Meanwhile in my constituency Cameron Brig distillery will see its excise bill increase by hundreds of millions of pounds. In last week’s debate on the Finance Bill the SNP supported a Lib Dem amendment to tax our spirits industry more fairly. Nobody from Labour bothered to vote and the Scottish Tories put their party before Scotland’s interests and voted for the increase.

I’m appalled at the way the Tories are rushing to defend Dominic Raab who was forced to resign from the government after being found guilty of bullying and intimidating behaviour. Like all bullies he’s blaming his victims instead of accepting responsibility for his own misconduct. To add insult to injury he’s allowed to claim £17,000 for losing one of his jobs, gets to stay on as an MP, and can be put back into the government any time his pal the prime minister chooses.

I was pleased to be able to call in and support the sale of clothing and other items at Glenrothes Foodbank at the weekend. All the money raised will be used to buy in food and other essentials for people in need. It was obvious that the volunteers and staff had put in a huge effort to get everything ready as well as giving up their Saturday to make sue it all went smoothly on the day. A big thank you to all of them.

After the Foodbank I visited the Open Day at CLEAR in Buckhaven. This is always a great place to visit and hear about all the work that goes on not just in the community garden in Omar Crescent but all over Levenmouth. One of their schemes this year is offering a wee selection of seed potatoes so you can grow your own tatties. They’ll even give you a wee portable garden if you don’t have one of your own (OK, it’s a heavy duty shopping back with a few inches of soil and compost but it works).

And finally a huge thank you to my constituency office team who have secured some truly life changing results for vulnerable constituents in the last couple of weeks. One volunteer at the Foodbank was kind enough to come looking for me to tell me just how big a difference we had been able to make for a couple she knows. I can’t usually go into details of constituency cases but it will always be a top priority for me and for my team and they deserve more thanks than I can ever give them.

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