Magic money tree? Or maybe independence - your views

“Without governments paying furlough salaries, the global economy would have been thrown into further chaos”

Magic money tree? Or maybe independence

Jill Stephenson (Letters, February 15) worries that the Scottish government believes in a 'magic money tree', and when it gets round to looking for it, will be unable to find it.

Many people balk at the idea that governments can spend money they have not collected in tax, but Jill can find the Bank of England confirming this in the plainest terms on their website, if she cares to look.

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Is it a good idea? Often. Without governments around the world paying the salaries of individuals who were furloughed due to Covid, the global economy would have been thrown into further chaos.

As for for her claims about Scotland's deficit - tax income derived in Scotland is more than enough to pay our expenses, including pensions.

The UK runs a deficit and apportions a share of it to Scotland, a deficit which is highly likely to rise further as the economic impact of Brexit worsens. Perhaps we'd better keep looking for that magic money tree after all – or just become independent.

Jim Daly, Comiston, Edinburgh.

Child Benefit payment does Scotland credit

While Westminster is refusing to extend the £20 a week Universal Credit and is taxing the £500 bonus the SNP announced for NHS and care home staff, the new £10 a week Scottish Child Benefit for low income families is the most ambitious anti-poverty measure in the UK.

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The UK’s old age pension and out of work safety net is around half most other developed countries and if Norway, Denmark and Finland can afford a decent welfare system with greater economic growth and wealth per head than the UK, then why not an independent Scotland with natural resources and balance of trade surplus?

Jill Stephenson (Letters, February 15) repeats the myth that Scotland, a country with virtually no borrowing powers and required to balance its books annually, has the highest deficit in Europe. The UK national debt increased from £1000 billion in 2010 to almost £2000 billion in 2020 and, as a result, GERS charges Scotland £4.5 billion a year interest on debts run up by Westminster which accounts for 30 percent of the notional deficit.

Mary Thomas, Watson Crescent, Edinburgh.

Nicola still has much to learn on education

Curiously, the Curriculum for Excellence report on Scottish education will not be published until after the May election. Remember Nicola Sturgeon said at the last election that we should judge her government on education? Well I have and it has failed miserably.

Then there is the farce that is the inquiry into the Salmond affair, not to mention all the SNP MSPs still collecting salaries and expenses even though they have not set foot in the parliament for months, waiting on their £50,000 payoff come the election.

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Disbanding the Scottish parliament, would save the country billions that I am sure can be better spent.

Michael Rogers, Henderson Court, East Calder.

Vaccine centre works like clockwork

A big thank you to everyone involved in the delivery of the Covid vaccine at the Queen Margaret University.

My wife and I attended our appointment on Saturday and we have to praise all aspects of our visit. Everything from traffic logistics, reception, introduction, pre-injection briefing, actual injection and post injection care was first class, not forgetting the St Andrew’s first aider in the rest area and everyone with a smile.

Eric Anderson, Duddingston, Edinburgh.