'I WOULD like to wish all readers a Happy New Year and all the best for 2019. At this time of year it’s good to look back on the year that has passed and ahead to the one that is about to start.

However, before that I would like to thank the public service workers who will work hard over the festive period to maintain vital services at a time when most of us are spending time with friends and family.

As the old Chinese proverb says, “May you live in interesting times”, and we can certainly attest to that after another year of political shocks and controversy. I for one hope that 2019 is duller and altogether quieter. The bread and butter issues that affect our daily lives, like education and healthcare often get lost amongst the smoke of Brexit and Indy Ref 2. I hope that 2019 ushers in a new era where we see proper focus on the issues that really matter, like taxation, schools and the future of healthcare.

Politics is still very much about what happens locally and over the course of the year I have pursued a number of causes across Mid-Scotland and Fife. I have continued to fight against unfair private parking charges and the Scottish Government have indicated that they will support my plans to rid the industry of cowboy operators. The law, as it currently stands, is as clear as mud but this should change in 2019 as the combination of my proposals and those being pursued at Westminster will result in parkers having access to fairer conditions.

Another issue that I have been pursuing is business rates. Statistics released reveal that businesses in Fife are paying double the rates of similar sized companies south of the border. The large business supplement is hurting businesses across Scotland and I believe this system is in need of reform. The amount received from this tax has actually decreased over the course of the past year, indicating that the large business supplement is restricting business creation and growth in the region. What I want, and what I believe we should be pursuing, is fairer taxes for large e-commerce retailers, like Amazon.

As ever, the feedback of readers and constituents is incredibly important to me and I will work hard in 2019 to pursue the issues that really matter to people across rural areas and in Fife and can be contacted at 31 Canmore Street, Dunfermline, KY12 7NU or via telephone at 01383 720530 or via email at Murdo.Fraser.msp@parliament.scot