Ian Murray is picking wrong targets on Covid - your views

"Ian should concern himself with the impacts of the September 2020 Trade Act”

Saturday, 13th March 2021, 7:00 am
A patient receiving a covid vaccine dose

Ian’s picking wrong targets on Covid

Ian Murray fixates on the numbers of Covid vaccines administered rather than the targeting of these vaccines to the most vulnerable (News, March 11).

England initially vaccinated a larger share of its population because it prioritised the easiest to reach. The Scottish government followed JCVI advice to vaccinate care home residents and the elderly first because in this high-risk group, 20 vaccines are needed to prevent a single death whereas for those aged over 50, 8000 doses are required.

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As a result, the death rate in English care homes is twice as high as in Scottish care homes, an additional 3700 deaths.

Ian should concern himself with the impacts of the September 2020 Trade Act that gave the UK government the power to sell off the NHS to American companies in order to secure a post-Brexit trade deal. Scots will remember Gordon Brown’s assurances before the 2014 vote that the SNP was ‘perpetuating a lie’ about protecting the NHS with independence because Holyrood had the power to keep health in public hands. Well, it no longer does thanks to the Tories.

Ian thinks Scotland is better off in the Union. He and Scottish Labour need to think again.

Leah Gunn Barrett, Merchiston Crescent, Edinburgh.

Inflation is the problem UK faces

When something sounds too good to be true, it usually is. Malcolm Parkin tells us that the UK's increasing national debt is not a problem as the government can print as much money as it likes (letters, 8 March). He takes Chancellor Rishi Sunak to task for being over cautious in his budget.

What Malcolm fails to mention is that inflation is the danger which the Chancellor is trying to avoid. An increase in the money supply which is not supported by an increase in production of goods and services will lead to inflation

The Covid outbreak has severely reduced production and forced the government to spend more to provide furlough, buy vaccines, pay health workers, etc. Those are the conditions in which inflation can take off.

We should remember the countries which have been devastated by inflation: Chile 1974, Yugoslavia 1994, Zimbabwe 2008 and Venezuela 2018, the latter still on-going.

Governments cannot simply print money as it pleases them. Tales to the contrary may sound bold and radical, but they are basically unrealistic fantasies which could lure us into an inflationary disaster.

Les Reid, Morton Street, Edinburgh.

SNP underspend

The SNP government underspent by nearly half a billion pounds in 2019/2020 - a staggering amount to keep back from public services.

It could have prevented cuts in classroom assistants and teachers. And a small part of half a billion could fill a lot of potholes. What else? Oh, no need to cut library hours, close swimming pools, close pensioners’ lunch clubs or public toilets.

The SNP might now regret this, as they would have been even more valuable for us after lockdown, but sadly for a lot of communities, these facilities no longer exist.

A way of life is being destroyed here - caring for others and providing decent local services enhances the quality of life for all. And think of the people thrown out of work because of local authority budget cuts. Job losses in Edinburgh have been in the thousands.

How can the SNP justify throwing so many of their fellow-citizens on the scrapheap?

Anne Wimberley, Belmont Road, Edinburgh.