Readers' letters: Covid funding leaves Scotland shortfall

The UK Government subterfuge over Covid funding is further evidence that Scotland is fighting the pandemic with one hand tied behind its back because our government cannot borrow money and has no control over borders.

By The Newsroom
Friday, 17th December 2021, 7:00 am
RAMSGATE, UNITED KINGDOM - DECEMBER 16: Britain's Prime Minister Boris Johnson speaks with medical staff and volunteers during a visit to an NHS Covid-19 vaccination centre on December 16, 2021 near Ramsgate, United Kingdom. The Government is pushing the booster jab program as the country recorded its highest number of daily infections since the pandemic began. England's chief medical officer Professor Chris Whitty has warned that more Covid records will be broken as the Omicron variant spreads further. (Photo by Leon Neal - WPA Pool/Getty Images)
RAMSGATE, UNITED KINGDOM - DECEMBER 16: Britain's Prime Minister Boris Johnson speaks with medical staff and volunteers during a visit to an NHS Covid-19 vaccination centre on December 16, 2021 near Ramsgate, United Kingdom. The Government is pushing the booster jab program as the country recorded its highest number of daily infections since the pandemic began. England's chief medical officer Professor Chris Whitty has warned that more Covid records will be broken as the Omicron variant spreads further. (Photo by Leon Neal - WPA Pool/Getty Images)

It is obvious that more cautious measures would have been introduced and more lives saved if Scotland was independent or Holyrood had the means to compensate the hospitality industry, which makes it all the more remarkable that Scotland has been far more effective at managing the pandemic.

Each of the four UK governments is responsible for protecting public health in their own nation, but only when Westminster takes decisions for England is funding triggered.

Despite Tory claims at Holyrood, there is no new or additional money and it turns out that Scotland is facing a £48 million shortfall on Covid funding previously promised.

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Like our agriculture and fishing industries, the Scottish hospitality sector has also been devastated by Brexit with a shortage of 48,000 seasonal workers.

As a very successful trading nation, Scotland has suffered much more than other areas of the UK due to Brexit and food prices are climbing as post-Brexit supply chain problems hit retailers hard.

As part of UK we are facing a growing cost-of-living crisis and the high inflation figure is almost entirely down to Brexit, while Boris Johnson’s shambolic handling of Covid, including cancelling the vaccine contract with Valvena in Livingston, has further trashed our economy.

Apart from Westminster’s relentless power grab of devolved matters since Brexit, it is obvious from Covid that the Union is no longer working for Scotland.

Fraser Grant, Edinburgh.

Following science

The senior scientists and medics advising ministers are suffering from confirmation bias, where the seriousness of Covid-19 is treated as a given and all evidence is interpreted to bolster that belief.

This inevitably leads to these advisors applying the precautionary principle and recommending both endless restrictions and recurring lockdowns.

It is high time our political leaders realised that their scientific advisors are not infallible and do not take into account the economy, the national debt, inflation, NHS waiting lists, delayed cancer screenings or the morale and mental health of the nation.

Otto Inglis, Crossgates, Fife.

Inhospitable virus

I have nothing but absolute admiration and sympathy with Emergency, NHS and care workers who have to carry on regardless with their essential work, providing high levels of care.

But I am sick to the back teeth of hearing all the continual moans and groans from the Scottish hospitality industry.

I do wish the media would get their priorities right in reporting those who have been badly affected by the Covid pandemic and keep some sort of order of importance as to what are essential services to those living in Scotland andwhat are hospitality services that we can actually do without.

Dennis Forbes Grattan, Aberdeen.

Diesel do, thanks

The recent snowfall and cold weather in Sweden had some interesting results.

Traffic was brought to a standstill by accidents but once cleared it was found that electric cars had discharged, having used the power to heat the car and keep the lights on. Diesel tow trucks came to the rescue. To prepare for a cold spell in Scotland EV owners should be advised to carry a diesel generator in the boot.

Clark Cross, Linlithgow.