Readers' letters: Foulkes spending limit bill is welcome

Let us wish Scottish Labour peer George Foulkes every success with another attempt at introducing his new bill to give the Treasury a veto over spending on non-devolved areas such as defence, foreign affairs and the constitution.

By The Newsroom
Saturday, 21st May 2022, 7:00 am

If he gets a chance eventually to present it and get it through the House of Lords it would at last curb, by law, devolved administrations, such as that at present running Scotland, spending our taxes on items that are under the jurisdiction of the UK government.

The perfect example of this working in practice would be the funding of clearly party political trips overseas – the stated reasons for the visits could in most cases easily be handled by a junior official at the nearest British Consulate or Embassy. It would put a stop, as well, to the ludicrous ‘’pretend’’ embassies, on which the present SNP administration has spent many millions of pounds of our money.

There are many more important ways that the Holyrood administration could be spending our cash, rather than on vanity, ‘’Scottishy’’ projects like these. With a fraction of the money they have frittered away, we could have tackled the highest drug deaths in Europe, provided cash to the councils to fill in all the potholes scarring our streets and many other pressing domestic problems.

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Alexander McKay, Edinburgh.

Veterans need our support with housing

When someone has served their country in the armed forces, the least we can do is support them when they make the move back to civilian life.

Yet every year thousands of veterans end up sleeping rough, sofa surfing or living in unsuitable hostels because they’re unable to access housing and slip through the net.

Those that have served their country, often through the most trying of times, deserve better.

The Armed Forces Covenant states that anyone who has served in the forces should face no disadvantage, and this includes accessing social housing. Veterans, who are especially vulnerable to homelessness, should be prioritised for support.

We’ve seen a dramatic rise in the number of homeless veterans seeking help since the pandemic. With the rising cost of living crisis, we know the situation is going to get worse.

Too often former members of the armed forces miss out on housing support because they aren’t identified as a veteran. As leading voices in the veterans housing sector, we’ve joined the No Homeless Veterans [www.nohomelessveterans.org.uk] campaign to urge local authorities to do more.

It’s vital that when someone needs help with housing, they are asked whether they’ve served in the forces. If they have, this should be recorded. Ma ny, particularly in Scotland, already do, but all local authorities across the UK should be identifying veterans quickly.

Moira Bayne, Housing Options Scotland, Brigadier (Ret’d) Martin Nadin OBE, Scottish Veterans Residences and others

No Tory coalition

I joined the Labour Party at the age of 17 and only left after Tony Blair’s ill-advised involvement in the Iraq war.

Recently I have been impressed with Keir Starmer and really believed Labour was on the way back after a long period in the wilderness. That was until I found out that Scottish Labour were colluding in certain councils with the most corrupt, mendacious and incompetent Conservative Party in living memory, probably of all time.

Those councillors should be utterly ashamed.

D Mitchell, Edinburgh.

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