Letters: Scots must vote ‘yes’ for a better tomorrow

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The Chancellor set out his spending plans and confirmed that Westminster reductions to the Scottish budget will continue for years to come.

Instead of helping households, the UK Government has attacked the income of working families who have been made to pay for Westminster economic mismanagement.

In Scotland, charities are seeing more people come through their doors. We see welfare reforms that hit the most vulnerable in our society and it’s time Scotland changed course.

John Swinney, the Scottish finance secretary, is worth listening to when he says there is another way – investing in jobs and growth. And he has the evidence to back it up too.

Our jobless rate is lower than the rest of the UK. Swinney has been able to fund a council tax freeze, free university education and prescriptions and still finish the financial year with a surplus.

And he is right that cuts are not the only way ahead, but the Scottish people will vote for a better tomorrow. I will vote ‘yes’ for a better tomorrow, that’s for sure.

J Hill, Stenhouse Avenue, Edinburgh

Salmond’s saltire was distastefully flown

I CANNOT have been the only Scot whose hair was standing on end and whose blood was surging, and yes, had a tear in their eye at the magnificent Andy Murray’s victory.

However the occasion was slightly spoiled for me by the sight of the world’s greatest glory hunter, The Great Leader, on another jolly.

What was Mr Salmond thinking when Andy spoke about being British, whilst he, the first minister of smugness, was forlornly trying to wave a Saltire (a flag I am extremely proud of, thank you)? Was I the only one who felt a certain uneasiness at the Great Leader’s action?

I will admit that I dislike Mr Salmond. Like him I am a fanatical Scot, but unlike him I am a patriotic Briton.

Jim Taylor, Essendean Place, Edinburgh

Footballers are ‘spoilt brats’

Congratulations to Andy Murray on his Wimbledon success, which brings me to talk about football.

After watching some of the utterly exhausting tennis matches at Wimbledon, never again will I sympathise with those spoilt brats, the pampered footballers who think they are hard done by in playing two games of football a week.

Not only do none of them deserve the adulation that is heaped upon them, but next to what tennis players have to put up with in terms of physicality, footballers don’t have a clue what hard work is.

Alan Lough, Boroughdales, Dunbar, East Lothian

Stuffed mice story emptied my stomach

It’s not often I feel revolted at an Evening News article but your story about the money to be made stuffing dead mice for fun had me reaching for a plastic bag of the sick variety (News, July 5).

Most of us know why one of the greatest men who ever lived, Charles Darwin, was an “exponent of the macabre art of taxidermy” (Evening News’ words).

There was solid logic in what he did. It was research and education. And most of all it was done as part of his life’s study. He did it for the benefit of science and all mankind.

I’m sure most of your readers will be able to separate cheap trivia from serious taxidermy and be disgusted by Ms Harmon’s digression from her life’s work stuffing beasties down in London.

The image of a stuffed weasel running all the way to the bank springs to mind however. And another one taking in the money.

John Addison, Roslin, Midlothian

Women bishops restores church faith

I WAS pleased that on Monday the ruling general synod voted to restart work on the issue of women bishops in the Church of England.

We are reminded of quite the extent to which The Church of England enjoys privileged exemption from equality laws which would apply in any other walk of life.

It is unbelievable that an established institution, ostensibly speaking for all, is only now beginning to shake off these anachronisms.

It must now question its other “traditional” discriminations such as it shows towards gay people if it wishes to avoid the younger generation continuing to vote with their feet.

Neil Barber, Saughtonhall Drive, Edinburgh

Laying foundations for more housing

Reports from the Scottish Chambers of Commerce that business confidence is finally improving are very welcome. But we shouldn’t lose sight of how far key sectors of the economy have been forced to downsize – and the challenges this creates in building a sustainable recovery.

In the construction sector, we’ve seen employment fall by more than a quarter in the space of five years. Housing activity is down 38 per cent and industrial output is down by almost a quarter. Between 2008 and 2012, 655 Scottish building firms have gone bust.

The industry is fully committed to developing the next generation of workers. But recruiting someone for a four-year apprenticeship remains a significant commitment when many firms don’t know what work they’ll have on their books six or 12 months from now.

The efforts being made by the Scottish Government to prioritise direct capital investment are hugely welcome. Crucially, the public sector now needs to set out a much clearer long-term project pipeline as a consequence of that investment. This will give building firms the confidence to begin investing.

Michael Levack, Scottish Building Federation, Holyrood, Edinburgh