PARLIAMENT returns next week in what will be the last eight months of this session.

We will find out what bills the Scottish Government want to bring forward in what will be an exciting time ahead.

I would like to congratulate CalMac on becoming the first ferry company in the UK and first major transport firm in Scotland to be accredited as a Living Wage employer.

Paying the Living Wage is more important now with the tough economic conditions and austerity agenda that many households live with day in and day out. Well done CalMac.

This week, figures published by the Scottish Government reveal that 1,331 Inverclyde residents have been helped so far to mitigate the ‘bedroom tax’.

This has meant a total of £848,101, with an average award being £637 of additional funding coming to Inverclyde.

The Scottish Government have provided £35 million as part of the Scottish Welfare Fund to deal with the Westminster created ‘bedroom tax’.

Unfortunately, the UK Government want to extend their welfare cuts and announced this week further cuts to support for disabled people.

The Scottish Government have a £39 million Detect Cancer Early programme and part of it is the #GetChecked campaign.

The Scottish Government have joined forces with Cancer Research UK and M&Co’s network of 62 stores across Scotland, including their store here in Greenock, to highlight the importance of early detection.

The next two weeks will see the early detection message promoted in a colourful fashion.