Letters: Win or lose, referendum will leave Scots divided

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with the vote on the referendum just weeks away, I find myself still sitting very uncomfortably on the fence! Half my family are in the No camp, the other half very much Yes.

This, I think, will be the enduring legacy of the Scottish referendum - a divided Scotland. Whichever way the vote goes on September 18, a lot of people will be unhappy with the outcome, especially if it is close.

What concerns me most is what independence will really mean for the people of Scotland, as opposed to its new government.

As the chair of a community council in a small rural village in Scotland, I can only dream of the independence a friend of mine who is chair of an English community council has just over the border.

Here we have to apply for and make do with an annual administration allowance of a little over £400, less than £1 per registered voter, per year! My friend, on the other hand, gets to set the rate they need for each year as part of the council tax, that amounts to several thousands, which they can use to hire staff, giving local employment to get the needed jobs done.

Our community council has to almost beg for even small amounts of money and put in requests to the regional council to do simple things like get the bus shelter cleaned.

The time and energy used to administer these petty applications probably costs more than the money or work we actually receive.

We could be run like the English councils, but the Scottish Government doesn’t seem keen to empower us; it even withdrew funding from the Association of Scottish Community Councils a few years ago, forcing them to shut down, leaving us with no source of independent help and advice.

The Scottish Government is seeking independence and greater powers, however they don’t seem to be so willing to share them with the rest of us. Is this just about more power for the central belt rather than all of Scotland?

Frankly I don’t trust what either side says. I think the English government has treated Scotland badly in the past with things like the poll tax, and continues to do so. The Scottish Government can behave just as badly to its rural communities. At the end of the day I fear this whole situation is more about power and egos than empowering ordinary Scots.

Yes, I would like to live in a more independent Scotland, but no, I don’t wish to break the union with England - I would rather just re-write it!

Andi Holmes, St Johns Town of Dalry, Dumfries and Galloway

Finances do not stack up after independence

The letter from Mary Thomas (August 13) reaches new heights of separatist hyperbole and misinformation. The assertions come thick and fast:

A currency is an asset; the rest of the UK and its voters would be bound by the wishes of a small majority of Scots in terms of a currency union; Scotland has an entitlement to renege on its debt to rUK; £1500 billion of oil revenues would flow through the Scottish economy.

This is such nonsense as only a few £billion a year accrue to the government and this is declining because of reducing supply and increasing decommissioning costs. Most of the money goes abroad and cannot be counted in the real balance of payments.

There is an assertion that wages may well start to move up by a massive £26,000 per year. Also asserted is that the promises of further devolution from the main parties is not real.

Alex Orr and Joseph Miller pile on the assertions in their letters – rUK would lose 120,000 jobs if Scotland did not get its currency union and it is the Union’s fault that Scotland’s population only grows slowly.

I cannot see Scotland’s population increasing with independence as jobs would be exported to rUK .

As the assertions and promises become ever more outlandish, the separatist case will not be believed and the No vote will steadily increase as the referendum nears.

Paul Beswick, Gillespie Street, Edinburgh

No way we can afford to follow Norway

Isn’t Mary Thomas’ premise that ‘Independence could move us closer to a Norwegian-type economy, where after taxes the average wage earner has a disposable income of £35,456 a year compared with the Scottish average of only £19,292 within the UK’ (Letters, August 13) precisely why we should be giving so-called independence a body swerve at this time?

Who wants to live in an economy where it costs £10 for a pint of beer?

This may seem trivial, but we depend on tourism for a large part of our GDP. How would it benefit our tourism industry and the jobs dependent on it, by pricing us out of the global tourist market?

I couldn’t afford to holiday in Norway. Do we want those who visit Scotland to be the same? Would those English visitors currently thronging Edinburgh be as willing to come here if our economy was so out of kilter with theirs that to do so would be so prohibitively expensive?

Ms Thomas’ politics of fantasy are the most succinct reason why my imperative is a vote for No.

Jim Taylor, The Murrays Brae, Edinburgh

Can we have our utilities back, Alex?

If Alex Salmond gets his Yes vote, is he going to dump the foreign companies which are running our oil, gas, electric, water and sewage and give them back to the people of Scotland who will run them with pride and not for so much profit?

Charlie Falconer, Redcraig Road, East Calder, West Lothian