Brian Monteith’s stout defence (Evening News, April 26) of George Osborne’s attempt to bully Scotland over the use of the pound after independence was undermined by Professor David Blanchflower, a former member of the UK Monetary Policy Committee, who said that George Osborne was “scaremongering to the people of Scotland” and that it made sense for an independent Scotland to enter into a currency union with the rest of the UK.
This was followed by the former head of the Royal Bank of Scotland, Sir George Mathewson, who expressed his anger over the way information on the independence referendum is being distorted and said: “I cannot understand why the sterling zone would not wish to have the revenues from North Sea oil and the benefits of all the other Scottish exports, such as whisky, to support the currency.”
It is clear that an independent Scotland would be one of the richest nations in the world and that the UK’s balance of payments deficit would more than double if Scotland was outside the sterling zone.
People say they want the facts and most of the issues surrounding currency, pensions and EU membership could be resolved very quickly but the UK Government has refused to discuss these matters with the Scottish Government as the No campaign wants to continue to rely on fears and scaremongering.
Mary Thomas, Watson Crescent, Edinburgh
Paws to think where puppies come from
Since animal charity Four Paws was founded 25 years ago, we have helped many thousands of animals all over the world.
Sadly, we are now receiving a record number of reports of sick puppies in cities such as Edinburgh. Many sick puppies have been bred in terrible conditions on puppy farms where they often have little veterinary care and are poorly treated.
Common problems can include mange, ear mites, fleas, eye infections and parasitic infections. Sadly, mental health is also sometimes affected which can cause great problems for the puppy even after they have found a home.
Four Paws is urging people in Edinburgh not to buy puppies from the boot of a car or van, and to always arrange to meet the puppy with its parents at the breeder’s home. Remember, the best and most rewarding place to find a dog is at a reputable rehoming centre, where there are many desperate animals who are looking for a second chance at a loving home.
Will Wright, Four Paws
British borders can’t remain open to all
A report by the Migrationwatch think-tank warns that 20,000 people a year are now coming to live in Britain as partners of a citizen of another EU country.
British citizens who want to bring in a wife, husband or partner and family from abroad must first show that they have an income of £18,600 or more to guarantee their dependents will not become a burden on the taxpayer.
There is no such condition for EU nationals.
This is wide open to fraud and abuse.
One example is that Indians living in Goa can claim Portuguese citizenship and then move directly to Britain with their families and claim welfare benefits, social housing, education and access to the NHS.
If the coalition government do not act quickly, the support for the anti-immigration and anti-EU party Ukip will deservedly grow.
Clark Cross, Springfield Road, Linlithgow
MSPs must outline rent regulations
Is it not time for the Scottish Parliament to re-affirm its position about rent regulations? When the new financial year comes along it is a certainty that rents will increase along with council tax – which needs regulated too.
As many council houses have either been sold off or demolished and the direct rent subsidy is now a thing of the past, rents are being pushed higher and higher, which could mean that rents are actually subsidising the private sector.
Rents are rising in proportion to wages, which means only those who are receiving housing benefit can afford a council or housing association home. With the present reduction to housing benefit and the “Bedroom Tax”, it looks very much like we are going back to the days of worsening homelessness figures.
Now the insensitive Bedroom Tax has been brought in, targeting the most needy.
For many this will mean “a mountain to climb on one leg” to find the money to live on, the basic needs of existence, and end up living in a bed and breakfast.
Chas Dennis, Niddrie Marischal Road, Edinburgh.
Don’t ignore Sir David’s warnings
Sir David Attenborough is truly right in warning that Scotland’s wildlife and landscapes need greater protection than ever before (News, May 22).
A report by 25 wildlife organisations across the UK has claimed 60 per cent of species studied had declined in recent decades while more than 10 per cent of plant and animal species assessed are said to be at risk of being lost.
This is sad and very concerning indeed. As TV naturalist Sir David said, Scotland contains some of the finest landscapes and wildlife spectacles in the British Isles. Surely this is right and no doubt is in need of our help more than ever and protection which is vitally important now and in future times.
June Fleming, Hercus Loan, Musselburgh, East Lothian