FOR those of you that watch the BBC Parliament channel, you might have noticed a debate about growth and investment in our economy in the House of Commons.

Over the course of a four-hour debate more than 50 MPs spoke.

This debate was interesting in two ways.

First of all, I was particularly interested to hear the MPs' views on how best to move our country out of a recession.

However, what I found more interesting was the fact that not one single SNP MP spoke in this debate, in fact it would appear that not one single SNP MP even ATTENDED the debate.

It is very disappointing to learn that, despite the fact that Scotland's unemployment rates are continuing to rise, whilst the rest of Europe's are falling, despite the fact that there are thousands fewer teachers and nurses and 40,000 jobs have disappeared in the construction sector, despite all of this the SNP MPs could not even be bothered to turn up to an important debate on the economy.

What is becoming abundantly clear is that the ConDem coalition Government will hammer Scotland with its cuts.

We need representatives from this country who will do everything within their power and utilise every opportunity presented to them to defend communities like West Dunbartonshire from the £81bn worth of cuts being imposed by Chancellor George Osborne.

Clearly the SNP were all sleeping.

Julie Gelson Balloch As usual Jackie Baillie MSP shoots from the hip in her 'Just Jackie' column (Reporter 16/11/10).

While she complains that the old and vulnerable are suffering cuts and increased costs, she should come clean and spell out just how many people have complained to her.

How many of these cases has she investigated and checked that these people are not entitled to additional benefits for which they may or may not have applied? Of the people who are not entitled to additional benefits to compensate them, how many are classed as poor?

During the Christmas recess Jackie should be able to respond in detail to these questions.

Jackie of course could make a meaningful cut herself. Her annual report to every houshold in the constituency is due to be published in spring. This glossy publication is paid for by the taxpayer.

No doubt Gemma Doyle MP will also produce a similar publication at the taxpayer's expense.

By my reckoning the total cost of this exercise in self promotion will cost your readers around £12,000 - the equivalent to an apprenticeship. Can we ask Jackie and Gemma to show leadership and pay for the reports themselves from their own substantial salaries?

Graeme McCormick Arden