IN his letter (December 15) Jim Hill expresses his love for the freezing of council tax and warns folk that if Labour wins the next Holyrood election the freeze will be unfrozen and Scotland will go bust.
Whilst I welcome the Scottish Labour Party’s apparent commitment to scrapping the council tax, there are still a few years to go until they would be in any position to do that.
The increased demands for council services – due largely to the rise in numbers of the elderly, vulnerable children and people with disabilities – have exacerbated the problems caused by this financial situation.
Nurseries have been closed; home helps have been forced to spend less and less time with the elderly; vacant posts in essential services are not being filled and third sector organisations have been starved of funding.
My fear is that next May the people of Scotland’s capital will read more than one manifesto pledging to deliver quality services for steadily less and less money.
Do we really want to see valued local services steadily deteriorate, see thousands of council staff thrown out of work and see many of those private firms which depend on council contracts go bust?
I am hoping that at least one party’s manifesto will include a pledge to raise council tax bit by bit, alongside explaining to the public why that is necessary.
At least then they would have a mandate to raise the money needed to move Edinburgh forwards – rather than even further backwards!
Kors Allan, Whitingford
Shame we can’t match technology
OVER the last 100 years or so, technology has expanded at an overwhelming rate. We have been introduced to cars, planes and space travel, radar, televisions and computers.
Yet as we approach the year 2012, there is practically a global financial crisis, with millions of people living in poverty. People with low incomes and millions of unemployed are struggling to make ends meet.
Even in our own country there are more cutbacks and job losses forecast. Yet there are those who earn thousands of pounds a week and still get bonuses on top of their huge income.
There is also civil unrest around the world and civil wars, not to mention our own troops fighting in foreign countries. We still have terrorism, racial hatred and bigotry.
It would appear that there are certain things throughout the world that have not moved on as fast as technology has.
Lloyd Wilson, Bridgeside Avenue, Whitburn
Eyes of world will be on Scotland
LATEST statistics have shown that Scotland welcomed four per cent more people than for the same period last year and that’s before we even said hello to our new VIPs (Very Important Pandas).
January 1, 2012, marks the beginning of “The Winning Years”. The new year will start with a bang as our celebrations herald the Year of Creative Scotland – a celebration of our fantastic culture, arts and music.
Additionally, the Olympic Games will provide us with a platform to present our culture to the world, as well as encouraging people to Edinburgh from a crowded south of England.
Next year is also the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee and is a fantastic opportunity to capitalise on the popularity among visitors of all things royal, including the Palace of Holyroodhouse and the Royal Yacht Britannia.
Then, looking further ahead to 2014, two of the greatest sporting events on earth, the Commonwealth Games in Glasgow and the Ryder Cup at Gleneagles, will focus the eyes of the world on our nation.
We at VisitScotland will be selling our country as a must-see tourism destination as hard as we can across the world, bidding for conferences, bidding for new sports and cultural events, and supporting industry however and wherever we can.
Mike Cantlay, chairman, VisitScotland, Edinburgh
Wrong way to deal with bigotry
ALEX Salmond and his government have taken the wrong road to deal with bigotry.
We need laws to protect us from violence, but not a law that could very well lead to persecution and isolationism.
The best way to deal with bigotry is not so much by law but by the preservation and strengthening of a tolerant society.
Chas Dennis, Niddrie Marischal Road, Edinburgh