WITH Parliament back in full swing, it was important to be able to challenge the Prime Minister over his tough talk on tax avoidance.
In my work on the Public Accounts Committee, we’ve been holding the likes of Amazon, Google and Starbucks to account over their meagre tax bills.
Last year David Cameron said he would make “damn sure” to make sure the country’s coffers benefited from foreign tech companies’ booming profits.
Yet one year on, we receive reports the tax bill for the likes of Apple and eBay are dropping further still.
The PM accused me of being unfair in my questioning, but we as a country expect better than empty promises.
Another big issue in Parliament this week was the army recruitment drive, with a £3m campaign launched to swell numbers.
Our recent history of conflicts, coupled with the apparent winding down of operations and resulting waves of redundancies, may have put people off the career.
But it can still be a fantastic opportunity for many youngsters to get on a strong career path in a lot of fields, coupled with teaching good values.
I visited Abertillery TA last year to see their good work with unmanned aerial vehicles, and would love to see this organisation on our doorstep become even more successful.
My work in Parliament has not distracted from the important work in the constituency, in particular my continued drive to increase awareness of the mephedrone problem in Blaenau Gwent.
I had the chance to visit the busy Blaen-y-Cwm Health Centre in Brynmawr which is getting a brand new building in the future, to get some invaluable feedback on this issue.
It was also good to get an insight into other health problems, particularly with this being National Obesity Awareness Week.
I’ve campaigned on sugar content in the likes of soft drinks before, and am very aware how weight issues can put a terrible strain on our health system.
For ourselves and our communities, we need to be mindful of how we can live better lifestyles – while I’ll continue to campaign to make sure the producers are doing their bit to keep us healthy.
Finally, I’d like to take the chance to applaud the South Wales Argus’ coverage of the flooding over the Christmas period.
With the website updates and comprehensive daily coverage, it was a great example of journalism in action – giving the people the news they need as soon as they need it.
It’s just another piece of evidence of how important strong local media can be in the community.