Letters: House price ‘recovery’ masks the true problem

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Have your say

It’s ironic that at a time when many are struggling to afford a home and make ends meet, a 6% annual rise in house prices will be viewed by some as a sign of recovery (Your Move report).

True recovery suggests a return to health. However, when in the last 20 years has Scotland or the UK experienced a healthy housing market?

I would argue that a healthy housing market is one where everyone has a secure, affordable home whether renting or buying.

Our collective memory must be very short if we have already forgotten the previous house price bubble which played a major part in the financial meltdown of 2008.

So, yes, we need to build homes for people to buy, but also to build 10,000 new social homes every year to end Scotland’s housing crisis for good.

This will bring hope to the 150,500 households on council waiting lists and much-needed jobs to our construction industry.

Graeme Brown, Director, Shelter Scotland, South Charlotte Street, Edinburgh

Scottish Labour should back Scottish business

Why is Scottish Labour election material, that is now being posted to millions of homes in Scotland, printed in Laindon, Essex instead of providing jobs in Scotland?

Sorry, I forgot that the leader of Scottish Labour Johann Lamont resigned because they were being treated as a branch office by London.

Now we have Jim Murphy, the right-hand man supporting Tony Blair’s invasion of Iraq, campaigning for Conservative policies on Trident and actions to increase the growing inequalities between rich and poor.

Little wonder that the SNP and Greens have replaced Labour as the party of the people of Scotland!

Ray Newton, Buckstone Way, Edinburgh

Hard-working Murray deserves our support

I am writing to you about the issue of tactical voting in the forthcoming election.

In Edinburgh South we have an excellent and hard working candidate in Ian Murray.

Mr Murray, Edinburgh born and bred, has dedicated the last five years to representing his constituents as the sitting MP for Labour. He is passionate about helping ordinary working families and individuals, regardless of their political persuasion.

He is the Shadow Cabinet Trade and Investment Minister for Labour, using his former business experience in media to great effect.

Previous to that he worked tirelessly as a Labour councillor for the Liberton/Gilmerton ward on Edinburgh City Council.

With the SNP threatening another independence vote and their threats to wreck the UK with reckless spending, we are urging all Lib Dem voters to heed Nick Clegg’s advice and lend Ian Murray their vote to make sure Great Britain remains united.

We are also urging pro-UK voters from across the political divide to also get behind other pro-UK candidates who have a good chance to either retain their seats or oust SNP candidates.

Phil Doherty, Do Not Break Our Unity campaign, address supplied

Smith Commission pledge failing already

It is disappointing to see that Tory peer, Lord Rupert Ponsonby de Mauley, is to represent the UK at the latest round of EU fisheries talks, which will underpin the management of a number of North Sea key stocks and in which Scotland has the dominant interest.

The Scottish rural affairs cabinet secretary, Richard Lochhead, has been stopped having a direct voice at the talks, despite the Smith Commission pledge that Scotland should lead when it has the ‘predominant policy interest’ and ‘when the relevant lead UK government minister is unable to attend.’

In this instance the UK minister for the marine environment, George Eustice is unable to attend.

In addition, previous agreements with the UK Government, including a 2013 Memorandum of Understanding, have also stated a Scottish minister could speak for the UK delegation, where the issue is of greater relevance to Scotland than the UK as a whole.

It is a clear snub to Scotland, which lands around 90% of the UK catch, and the supposed respect agenda, that the interests of our fishing fleet are being represented by an unelected Tory peer who has no involvement with the industry.

Alex Orr, Leamington Terrace, Edinburgh

Left Unity fights home shortage and poverty

ONE of the reasons Labour will do badly in Edinburgh is that its policies aren’t even supported by its candidates (‘Labour faces wipeout in Capital’, News, April 21).

As Left Unity’s candidate in Edinburgh North & Leith I’ve lost count of the number of times Mark Lazarowicz has told hustings audiences that he opposes Trident renewal or that he wants proportional representation.

But voters shouldn’t think that things will improve if they reject London capitalist parties in favour of Edinburgh capitalist parties like the SNP.

Labour, SNP, Tory and Lib Dem have all failed in the basic job of government: to eradicate poverty and house everyone decently.

Only Left Unity will do this, taxing those responsible for the financial crisis to pay for the reversal of all austerity cuts, for a £10 living wage to boost a stagnant economy, and rent controls to protect the vulnerable and those on social housing.

Bruce Whitehead , Hillwood Place, Edinburgh