Letters: We must demand control over all taxes in devo max

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In his article on delivering powers promised to Scotland (Evening News, September 23), Ian Murray significantly fails to spell out what these powers should be.

Many people I know switched from supporting Yes to voting No on the basis that they thought that we were getting some form of devo max .

To date London’s “more powers” is limited to tinkering with income tax which in itself cannot grow the Scottish economy or create the many new jobs needed in order to tackle poverty.

Compared to the UK as a whole, income tax receipts form a lesser percentage of the total tax take in Scotland, which is normally on a par or better compared to the UK as a whole, therefore any future Scottish government would have to impose draconian income tax rates to compensate for the proposed cuts in Barnett Formula block grant funding of the Scottish Parliament.

As someone who believes in Westminster control, Ian Murray cannot promise more devolution without taking into account the fact that Scottish MPs should no longer be allowed to vote on English domestic matters as without this quid pro quo there is no way the majority of English MPs or the House of Lords will readily agree to granting more powers to Scotland.

Proper devo max would include powers over 100 per cent of income tax, VAT, corporation tax, oil revenues, national insurance, excise duty, fuel duties, EU structural funds, etc and until that is agreed, the 25,000 new SNP members and the 3000 new Green members will continue to campaign for effective meaningful powers for Scotland in order to change things for the better.

Calum Stewart, Montague Street, Edinburgh

Food waste bins not cleaned often enough

I live in a tennement and use the street bins allocated to kitchen waste which I wrap in newspaper.

Months ago I began to use a bin near my home. Even then it was unsavoury, the shelf where one places an offering being stuck with all kinds of foodstuffs. But now when the lid is raised a swarm of flies seek the fresh air and the shelf is past description.

I sought help from someone at the council recycling unit who could not tell me how often or if these bins are cleaned.

I do know that they are not often emptied as a piece of newspaper is still caught in the lid and has been for weeks now, yellowing with age.

This bin is a narrow pavement’s width from someone’s living room window. Has Edinburgh council given any thought to this?

People I know are now putting their kitchen waste in their buckets as they used to do for to use one of these bins they have to hold their nerve and their noses.

R Sutherland, Halmyre Street, Edinburgh

Let’s change subject to corporal punishment

The referendum was a blast. What with copious amounts of caffeine and whisky – Caol Ila 12yo since you ask – it’s time to resurface blinkingly into a new world. Or should that be a repeat of the old one, possibly with “bells on”?

So let’s turn our minds to something entirely different that we can all get het up about.

Surprisingly, I simply didn’t read or hear about any statements or discussions during the campaigns on the fundamental issue of corporal punishment in a modern Scottish society.

Painful and/or necessary? Yes or No – this effects how we move forward. To thrash or scourge: home or school; court or church, this is the new issue of the day and years to come. Interested to hear your thoughts.

Well, at least it will get us away from the girning of both sides over the result and aftermath, that’s so clogging the News’ letter pages.

Graham Davidson, Edinburgh

Fate of so many young gannets is a tragedy

I WAS much saddened to read that large numbers of dead and dying young gannets had been found on the East Lothian coast (News, September 23).

The birds were washed ashore after leaving their nests on the Bass Rock.

Chief executive of the Scottish Seabird Centre Tom Brock said that after leaving their nests the young gannets are heavier that the adults and unable to fly until they lose weight. Thus they will float on the sea for several days, leaving them very weak. Also they endure tough weather conditions.

Sadly many of the birds get into difficulties which is such an awful shame.

June Fleming, Hercus Loan, Musselburgh, East Lothian

Time to move on and count our blessings

The Yes voters must be feeling very let down by Alex Salmond.

After the No vote he has come out not trying to keep us together but trying hard to keep the ill feeling going. He has been true to his colours by doing what he is best at. Letting us down. He should see this through to the end and make sure we get what we were promised.

But no, he is off and will no doubt be like Tony Blair and end up earning mega bucks with a high powered job.

It’s time we had a new leader, not Nicola Sturgeon, but new blood with new ideas.

Think about what we HAVE got not what we HAVEN’T got. Watch the news every evening and see what is going on in the rest of the world and think how lucky we all are.

Life will go on without Alex Salmond and I’m sure Alex Salmond will look after himself, so please join together and move on.

I’m an ordinary pensioner and I still think life is good. Heating allowance, free bus pass, no prescription charges and good health care. Count our blessings.

Mrs S Smart, Penicuik