Accounting trick of Scotland’s wealth - your views

"If being part of the UK is such a boon to Scotland, why do these accounts show us faring so poorly?”

Monday, 29th March 2021, 7:00 am

Accounting trick of Scotland’s wealth

Phil Tate (letters, March 25) repeats the error that the Barnett formula subsidises Scotland when the reverse is true.

The Tory-designed GERS accounts show Scotland’s finances as a UK region, with billions siphoned off by Westminster to service UK debt, English infrastructure, nuclear weapons and overseas embassies.

Sign up to our daily newsletter

The i newsletter cut through the noise

If being part of the UK is such a boon to Scotland, why do these accounts show us faring so poorly?

It’s because the accounts are rigged to hide Scotland’s true wealth. The UK government is terrified of losing Scotland’s revenue and natural resources which is why it is trashing our ability to be a successful independent country.

A cursory look at other northern European nations similar in size to Scotland but with lower levels of natural wealth show them all with larger, more prosperous economies. Ireland, with 600k fewer people and fewer of Scotland’s economic attributes, has an economy one and half times larger than Scotland’s.

This is a damning indictment of Westminster economic mismanagement. The Union has stifled our potential and squandered our resources. And it’s a damning indictment of Scottish Labour, a party that would rather collude with the Tories than support our right to govern ourselves.

Leah Gunn Barrett, Merchiston Crescent, Edinburgh.]

Which social contact is most worthy?

We were deeply worried to learn that, in the name of “religious freedom,” a judicial review had ruled in favour of some Scottish churches’ demand uniquely to be allowed to open for communal worship.

Lord Braid concluded, “restriction on religious believers goes beyond a mere inability to attend a lunch club." Does anyone have the right to prescribe a hierarchy of value in types of social contact?

Church leaders have said the ban was, “dangerous for Scotland.” It was certainly inconvenient for a dwindling minority of church goers but the judge emphasised that he was not saying worship was safe. The only danger is in the arrogant faithful spreading the virus to other people who have made sacrifices of their own.

Neil Barber, Edinburgh Secular Society, Saughtonhall Drive.

Murray is wrong on SNP education role

It is easy for opposition politicians, like Ian Murray (Opinion 25 March), to make un-costed promises on education.

The gap between those from the most and least deprived communities achieving a positive destination has reduced significantly since the SNP came to office.

Poverty is the biggest influence on educational outcomes and that’s where Nicola Sturgeon has made great strides in preparing infants for school through the Baby Box, doubling the amount of childcare worth £4500 per child per year plus the Scottish Child Payment which will help lift around 30,000 children out of poverty.

Class sizes have fallen with 958 schools rebuilt and 1354 extra pupil support assistants recruited in 2020.

The proportion of school leavers in higher or further education is at a record high and the latest statistics show 16 per cent of students from the most deprived areas have gone to university. Also, a record number of students enrolled at our world class universities last year.

It is an insult to our teachers and pupils to claim that Scottish education is failing. By any measurement the SNP record on education is a vast improvement on the previous Labour/Liberal Democratic administration at Holyrood.

Mary Thomas, Watson Crescent, Edinburgh.