Letters: Better Together miss point on NHS funding

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Better Together is still refusing to face the facts.

Although it points out that NHS Scotland is fully devolved and the responsibility of the Scottish Government, what it fails to admit is that the funding to pay for it is not.

The Scottish Parliament’s block grant is a fixed proportion of total Westminster spending, so that as more and more NHS services in England are privatised in order to cut Westminster spending, so Holyrood’s funding is cut proportionately.

If Scots vote ‘No’ and remain in the union, this process will continue until the Scottish Government can no longer afford to keep NHS Scotland ‘free-at-the-point-of-need’.

The desire of most Scots and of most MSPs to keep NHS Scotland free will count for nothing unless Scotland has control over the finances too.

This is why the only way to save NHS Scotland from privatisation is to vote ‘Yes’ on September 18.

Peter Swain, Innerwick, Dunbar

Pension reforms may leave us all worse off

IT was hailed as the great retirement revolution that would allow us all to take and spend our pensions as and when we pleased, but George Osborne’s reforms could leave those people who choose to go on a spending spree or pass cash on to loved ones facing an investigation into their finances if ever they need to go into a care home.

If the local council believes that you may have deliberately tried to reduce your wealth to avoid having to pay towards your old age care costs, it can claw back the cash. Pension income is also taken into consideration.

Care costs can be as high as £1000 a week, so councils can order houses to be handed back or sold - no more inheritance for your loved ones.

I have worked all my life and served my country in war, but they can’t look after me when I need help. If it was legal they would shoot us OAPs.

James Hill, Stenhouse Avenue, Edinburgh

Standing guard over Greyfriars Bobby

COULD I suggest that the council solve the problem of Greyfriars Bobby’s nose by fitting the dog with a muzzle. No doubt the tourists would then find some other part of the little dog’s anatomy to interfere with.

An alternative solution would be for the Royal Regiment of Scotland to mount a permanent guard over the fountain. The guard detail could be changed when the One O’Clock Gun fires, providing the Capital with a ceremony similar to the Changing of the Guard in London.

Stewart Wilson, Bobby Says ‘Yes’ Campaign, Abbeyhill Crescent, Edinburgh

It’s time we scrapped Inglorious Twelfth

THERE really is nothing glorious about the Glorious Twelfth, when grouse are so cruelly blasted out of the air.

These poor birds are needlessly killed in the name of sport, which is sad indeed. Surely the government should ban grouse shooting for good. It is so cruel and a terrible shame.

Mrs June Fleming, Hercus Loan, Musselburgh

Let’s just cut to the chase on referendum

IT is good to see the SNP in disarray after Alex Salmond’s devastating defeat in the televised debate with Alistair Darling. The wee man was on the back foot throughout the proceedings.

The best thing they as a party can do now is to implode and give the good folks of Scotland a respite from their constant campaigning for separatism.

I understand it has been suggested that Nicola Sturgeon should take up the cause in subsequent debates on TV. In my view the SNP have had their chance to put their case to the electorate and have spectacularly blown it. In any case, Nicola Sturgeon’s earlier debate with Labour leader Johann Lamont turned into a ‘stairheid rammy’.

In my opinion the public deserves better than this; we should just let the referendum decide the issue with no more posturing from either 

The voting public are now fully aware that there is no plan B. If the separatists have their way, Scotland could well be cast adrift into a currency maelstrom.

Robert IG Scott, Northfield, Ceres

Childhood rivalry is still there, George!

Hi George Oag! You must be 65 the day (25/8/14). Congrats! How do I know? Cos I’m still 64 and it used to be a right thrawn issue with me aged 6-11 at Bruntsfield School when you asked me every day for a week what age I was: you would always be a year older than me for one week until the magic number of 1/9 appeared on the calendar.

Lachrymose wasnae the word, I was devastated! I’d question my mum every year at this time: how come George Oag is a year older than me?

Bring on the habitual lame excuses: his birthday was the 25th, mine was a week later; his mum had George a week earlier than my mum; George was quicker in jumpin out the womb; och, it’s only for a week!

All these ever produced was the wee man polemic in response: “But how?”

Now I’m a youngish 64 pre-pensioner for a week and you are an auld age pensioner! I win: the game’s up the pole, the baw’s oan the slates. Eat your hert oot, auld yin.

Happy birthday George, onywey. Yer erstwhile pal and fellow crate monitor at Bruntsfield School.

David McDonald (a young 64), Juniper Avenue, East Kilbride