I was never one of those who thought that we should prepare the guillotines for the rich. But maybe I was wrong. The moans to which we have been subjected by very well-to-do sections in Scotland at the prospect of not benefiting from a tax cut are enough to harden even the tenderest of hearts.
I can’t decide whether it was the greed or the vanity of those leading the propaganda charge that was worse. Depriving them of a little supplement to their already very comfortable income is supposed to lead to a flight of “talent” from Scotland.
Are we supposed to worry if some big lawyers, bankers, real estate developers, landowners, business leaders, senior government officials and local government officials leave? This would give many young talents the opportunity to climb the ladder rather than being stuck for years along the food chain. So, far from losing, Scotland could gain by losing a conservative elite in too many sectors of society.
Should we be worried about insufficient resources in our health and care services, in education, in affordable housing, in transport infrastructure, in home renovations, in malnourished children? Definitely.
When you can’t get your trash picked up, you can’t get a hospital bed, you can’t find a home you can afford, you learn who in our society is indispensable.
Isobel Lindsay, biggar
Jack is not faced with reality
COULD you please ask the Secretary of State for Scotland, Alister Jack, to pass on the recipe for the confectionery it is on? It is clearly an ideal remedy to face reality.
His article (“Growth Plan Will Rebuild Economy,” The Herald, September 27) would be funny if it weren’t so tragically, even cynically, myopic.
I guess being a multi-millionaire must ease the burden a bit and as we head towards the economic abyss, it’s good to think that we’re all in this together.
Forbes Dunlop, Glasgow
The Kwarteng Pyramid Scheme
The economy is collapsing, the country is on edge, the lower middle and working classes have been affected, and the golden rule in politics of not costing people more money has been completely ignored. The despicable duo of Liz Truss and Kwasi Kwarteng have created a legal pyramid scheme called “trickle down economy” which in reality is anything but.
As in the pyramid system, the people at the top, or rather the highest earners, get the most rewards, while further down in the bottom level of the pyramid, the workers chase each other trying to make ends meet with the least reward funding for their efforts. And like the pyramid scheme, the money is not reinvested in the business; this level of high earners will either deposit the money, possibly in an offshore account, or invest in cheaper foreign ventures to make the maximum profit. Even though the money was invested in Britain in a new business as a start-up, with the rising prices and the time it takes to start a business, the assets of the business depreciate over the of this period and even if the company is successful, it will take time to strengthen the staff, open new positions, etc.
Due to the national self-harm that is Brexit, the money that is supposed to flow does not. We are now in a closed economic system due to the destruction of our relationship with the EU, so now these ports of financial transactions are no longer open and these opportunities for money to flow into safe investments and thus generate profits no longer exist.
Hitting people in the pocket will not win you friends or influence people. Liz Truss didn’t have the good sense to start with positive steps for a poll bounce. She said she is a tough leader who will make unpopular decisions; she reaps the consequences.
Paul Delaney, bellshill
UK repeats Scottish mistakes
HAVING experienced the results of a largely under-experienced student policy in power in Scotland for over a decade, and witnessed the catastrophic results it can bring, I can appreciate the reaction across the UK to the fall of the pound on world markets and questions about the new chancellor. initial decision making.
When we needed long and careful economic scrutiny and expert advice in Scotland, we instead received entirely politically motivated, rushed and poorly thought out decisions from politically immature new ministers, promoted well into beyond their abilities and trying to satisfy those who supported them.
It is true that the UK is infinitely larger but exactly the same principles apply.
Alexander McKay, Edinburgh
The case of universal benefits
JANE Lax (Letters, September 27) clings desperately to the straw to suggest the UK Chancellor’s tax changes are the same as universal benefits in Scotland. Nothing could be further from the truth.
By reducing the higher tax rate, it is clear that the Chancellor’s intention has been to give an advantage to the wealthiest in society.
In contrast, Scotland’s universal benefits are available to everyone, regardless of income level. It seems to me that if one is broadly in agreement with the concept of the NHS – that it is free at the point of delivery – then free prescriptions at the point of delivery is simply an extension of that system, and a welcome that time. .
Making prescriptions (for example) free also removes a lot of bureaucracy. We do not need an army of civil servants employed solely to decide who is entitled and who is not entitled to free prescriptions. If the “rich people” choose the free bus ride, then good luck to them, why wouldn’t they, many won’t. Free bus travel for the over 60s has been instrumental in keeping rural bus lines open.
Universal benefits are a good thing. It’s much more civilized than having people fill out mountains of complicated paperwork or online forms to “claim” what is rightfully theirs.
David Clark, Tarbolton
• IN response to criticism of Nicola Sturgeon’s provision of baby boxes, free pre-school education and free university tuition, I remind critics that the Scottish Government invests in young people. Young people are the future of our society and our planet. Take care of citizens from birth, and it will save the NHS from having to spend money on health issues in the future. Short-term thinking is proven to be a bad idea.
As for saying that these sensible measures are just giveaways to attract votes, that is exactly what the Kwasi Kwarteng mini-budget is: a ploy to buy enough votes to win the next general election. The Tories believe the heids of Scottish voters are scrambling. They will have a nasty surprise long before the election.
Margaret Forbes, Blanefield
Work and its double standards
SO Labor will not make a ‘deal’ with the SNP, because apparently they are ‘nationalists’ (“Labour leaders swear we won’t deal with SNP”, The Herald, September 27). Yet in Scotland, the Labor Party is happy to work with an Anglo-British nationalist party (the Conservatives) in local government. Labor aligned itself for decades with the Irish nationalists (the SDLP). Labor has a co-op deal with Plaid Cymru in Wales, so it looks like the only mainstream political party it won’t be working with is Scottish.
However, while the SNP would certainly vote for Labor in Downing Street, without broad support from the SNP, Labor would not be ‘in power’. Anas Sarwar claims Labor will win many seats in the SNP, but that seems to be based entirely on wishful thinking rather than evidence.
GR Weir, Ochilles
How we could reduce energy bills
THERE is a very simple answer to George Rennie’s question about how an independent Scotland could bring electricity prices down (Letters, 27 September) and that is through a Scottish energy regulator decoupling Ofgem’s outdated policy of linking electricity prices to world oil prices.
Contrary to Mr Rennie’s claims, an energy-rich Scotland will continue to be a net exporter of electricity, oil and gas, and our vast renewable resources through offshore wind, tidal and Green hydrogen will produce much cheaper electricity without the need for expensive nuclear power and all of its cleanup costs.
An independent Scotland will need to store renewable energy for those rare times when the wind isn’t blowing somewhere. The Scottish Government has already attempted to further encourage pumped hydro storage. All it could do was grant planning permission, but the market needs contracts to make up the difference with a guaranteed floor and ceiling price for the electricity it produces in order to invest and who did not come from the UK.
We will still need our oil and gas for decades to come and an independent Scottish government could gain a financial windfall by taxing producers at the Norwegian level, rather than using the benign British tax model, and so erase the notional deficit of the GERS at a stroke level.
Fraser Grant, Edinburgh
Read more letters: Don’t let them fool you: Energy won’t be an independent boon
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