Readers' letters: Census fiasco is not inspiring confidence

It appears as if the SNP are going to brazen it out over the Census fiasco and go ahead in collating figures, even with an unprecedented high percentage of uncompleted forms.

By The Newsroom
Friday, 20th May 2022, 7:00 am

Many experts believe the whole process costing many millions is now hopelessly flawed and pointless.

To make sense of the information gathered it needs returns in the high ninety percentages – as was had in the rest of the UK who carried out their own on schedule and in tandem.

They also benefited from UK-wide publicity, which clearly got the numbers up. In their efforts to be uniquely Scottish and different the SNP has robbed us of this vital information. For sheer incompetence, this matter will in a different sense match the ferry fiasco.

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It is another indication, I fear, of the present administration’s incompetence and unerring ability to make even the most simple procedure difficult.

Alexander McKay, Edinburgh.

Ferrygate is more than a sideshow

Fraser Grant (Letters, 17 May) suggests awarding the contract for CalMac ferries is a sideshow to the main event. I’m sure the SNP wish that to be the case.

Audit Scotland and taxpayers are still trying to find out why the contract was given to Ferguson Marine, owned by a then SNP supporter.

The SNP have consistently refused to advise why they went against the advice of the government experts, CMAL, set up to own the vessels and despite the contract not complying with the tendering requirements.

Mr Grant suggests awarding the work to Fergusons resulted in the creation of 400 jobs. As the owner of the shipyard has pointed out, 250 were employed before the contract with on-going work, and sometime later this increased to 400.

Most people can do the maths, unless they were educated under the SNP Certificate for Excellence.

Some of the delay occurred following design changes requested by CMAL. Reports indicate SNP refused to pay for additional work. It has been suggested these additional cost might be the reason Fergusons went into liquidation.

The ferries were due in 2018. Glen Sannox is now expected in 2023 and Hull 802 much later. The harbours will not be ready in time, as work has not been agreed. The next two ferries are being built in Turkey for £100m. Only SNP could manage a shambles like that.

Alastair Murray, Edinburgh.

Put Scots domestic issues first, Michael

I was amused to read of Michael Matheson’s demands for a four-nations approach to the UK cost of living crisis.

Why was I amused? He won’t even admit that a four-party approach in Scotland could only but improve the strategic thinking of our government here, but the offer of inputs from the powerhouses that are Shona Robson and Kate Forbes was surely one that the UK government could politely turn down.

If only the SNP could do as Mark Drakeford does in Wales and focus on domestic problems – of which there are too many to list here.

Ken Currie, Edinburgh.

Price of energy

Canada and Norway – both with substantial hydroelectric resources – have low energy costs. Other factors include a country having its own gas supplies, whereas UK has to import much gas.

Wind and tidal power are also important with a higher proportion of renewables making for lower energy costs. With these strengths applicable to Scotland, why are energy costs rocketing?

Bill McKinlay, Balerno.

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