letters: Osborne’s budget will hit Scots poor hardest

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Plans to reduce tax credits, as announced in the Budget, are a great mistake and will have a major impact on the poorest households.

In the vast majority of cases, these benefits are going to households who have already borne much of the burden of the austerity programme. And around half the people in poverty in Scotland live in working households, a worse situation than in the UK as a whole, with tax credits going some way to alleviate this.

While more than 500,000 children in Scotland benefit from tax credits, seven in ten Scottish households who receive them are working households, with 90% of expenditure on tax credits going to households with an income of less than £20,000.

It is estimated that a 10% cut in child tax credit will cost Scottish families £150m a year, while a 10% cut in all tax credits would leave households £250 million worse off.

The UK Government cut in tax credits will hit Scotland’s poorest children and families hard, a frightening indication of the potential impact of the proposed £12bn in welfare cuts.

Alex Orr, Leamington Terrace,Edinburgh

End of a long era for Meadowbank cycling

it is with great sadness, that it looks like the Meadowbank cycling track league has come to an end.

The track league has been running for many years and provided great competition and spectator enjoyment for a loyal support group.

Meadowbank, built for the Commonwealth Games of 1970 and used in 1986, proved to be a great little track, much enjoyed by both competitors and spectators alike.

It is a very fast track and has been well maintained up to the present time.

The most important thing that it lacks is a roof. Therefore, when it rains, the track can not be used.

This has caused the cancellation of many an event.

I can’t say what the problem is with the continuation of the track league, but the new Velodrome in Glasgow obviously has a bearing on this, with not so many riders coming, in case it is rained off.

Ironically, Meadowbank is where a young Chris Hoy learned his craft, but as the new Sir Chris Hoy Velodrome in Glasgow is an indoor venue, problems with adverse weather does not apply.

Personally I am not enjoying not being able to attend the Tuesday evening track league. EastEnders is definitely no replacement.

Many thanks to all the officials who have made the track league possible, over many years.

They know who they are, Chris Hoy’s father being one of them.

Peter E Tuck, Summerside Street, Edinburgh

Time for the West to end reliance on coal

Clark Cross thinks it hypocritical of the developed West, which became so by exploiting fossil fuels, to want to prevent developing countries from doing the same so as to slow climate change (Letter, 7 July).

So because the West ignorantly made a mistake, Mr Cross wants developing countries to make the same mistake, thereby increasing the likelihood that global warming will do for us all!

Mr Cross may not believe in global warming but he is ignoring the evidence and the views of expert climatologists.

The whole world has to stop burning coal, the most damaging of all fossil fuels.

If we cannot stop doing so ourselves, we can at least try to help developing countries from going down the same cul-de-sac.

Steuart Campbell, Dovecot Loan, Edinburgh

Hens are still kept imprisoned in cages

Since the ban on battery cages in 2012, many people believe that egg-laying hens are no longer kept in cages in this country, but unfortunately millions of hens in the UK remain incarcerated in crowded, filthy cages, simply to produce cheap eggs.

As revealed in Animal Aid’s latest undercover film, these ‘colony cages’ offer little, if any, improvement on the traditional battery cages they have replaced and are almost indistinguishable to the layperson.

Around half of eggs laid in the UK come from caged hens and they are not just sold whole in supermarkets. Many are used in the catering industry and in processed goods such as cakes, quiches and fresh pasta, meaning many people are eating them without even realising.

Anyone wishing to see Animal Aid’s caged-hen footage for themselves or who would like information on cruelty-free living, should visit www.animalaid.org.uk or call 01732-364546.

Ben Martin, Animal Aid, Tonbridge, Kent

Why do English play the British anthem?

Why do the English football and rugby union teams play the Great Britain national anthem prior to their games?

This does not seem fair on the non- English athletes representing Great Britain at the Olympics etc.

Derek Cranston, Pirniefield Gardens, Leith

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