In these times of economic hardship, with businesses facing difficulties, and people losing their jobs and their homes, it is very important that politicians keep their eyes on the ball.
As a member of the European Parliament's Employment Committee I am well aware of the burdens placed on our industry by EU over-regulation.
In the Employment Committee today, MEPs voted on an 'Oral Question' to the Council which was supportive of a "stronger fiscal capacity" for the EU and the establishment of "a European unemployment benefit scheme" amongst other things.
34 MEPs were present to vote on this, and I am pleased to say that it was rejected. 17 MEPs voted for, and 17 against, and so as no majority was achieved, the question was rejected.
I am delighted with this, but it was a near miss.
What a shame that neither of the two UKIP MEPs who nominally sit on the Employment Committee, Derek Clarke and Roger Helmer, failed to show up for work. Today's vote was about protecting Britain's interests, by rejecting the idea of common EU economic instruments.
Exactly what is the point of UKIP? And what would happen to workers in the private sector if they failed, repeatedly, to show up for work?