Readers' letters: Heat pumps need a proper strategy

Claire Miller with a heat pumpClaire Miller with a heat pump
Claire Miller with a heat pump
The government are setting aside £450 million to help households with the conversion from gas to heat pumps.

The mathematicians among us have worked out that it will only help 90 thousands households.

Now if was in government and was serious about the planet this is what i would immediately start doing. Every private household, starting with the oldest in the UK, would have the installation paid for by the taxpayer, the money plus interest to be recovered on the sale of the property.

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All social housing paid for by the taxpayer and if any of those pass into private ownership the money plus interest recovered from the sale.

Economically this is viable, the programme could take up to 30 years and very quickly money will start rolling back into the government’s coffers for reinvestment.

All new buildings, commercial or domestic should have the heat pump technology installed and paid for by the construction companies.

Finlay G Mackintosh, Forres.

Scots played a big role at Trafalgar

Yesterday (Thursday) marked Trafalgar Day, the 216th anniversary of the Battle of Trafalgar, in which Scots played a major part.

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Far from being an English victory, epitomised by the famous "England expects" signal, five of the 27 captains of the fleet were Scottish, and George Duff from Banff, captain of the Mars, was one of only two captains to be killed.

It is estimated that almost 30 per cent of the fleet’s crew were from Scottish towns and fishing villages and Nelson' s own doctor, and the woman who embalmed his body when he died, were Scots. In addition, Scottish industry provided timber products, sails, ropes, iron cannons and iron balls.

For some, this victory symbolises a great British triumph over the French and the Spanish, for others it epitomises English imperialism, with Scots as unwilling, press-ganged accomplices.

However, what cannot be disregarded is the prolific and willing role played by Scots in a naval encounter which changed the course of European history, a history which we in Scotland cannot simply turn a blind eye to.

Alex Orr, Edinburgh.

Javid’s vaccine pride is badly misplaced

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With the WHO reporting on Monday that the UK has currently the highest Covid cases in the world, isn’t it time our governments agreed a strategy to suppress the virus?

Instead they continue to pursue herd immunity, relying almost solely on the vaccine defence. This strategy is wreaking havoc with our NHS, already stretched to breaking point, with hospitals already full and an anticipated flu surge this winter.

The irony is that we almost got to elimination last summer with daily cases in single figures in Scotland. Then we opened up foreign travel to let the delta variant in with disastrous consequences.

A future strategy needs to learn from countries like New Zealand (28 deaths out of 5 million people) with quarantining for those testing positive on entry and South Korea (2600 deaths out of 51 million people) with its advanced test and trace system and supported quarantining.

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In Scotland cases are starting to rise . Health Secretary Sajid Javid this week expressed pride in the vaccine roll out but should hang his head in shame at his government’s record of 139,000 deaths, roughly equivalent to the atomic bomb on Hiroshima. Learning from mistakes and from other countries clearly comes second to patting themselves on the back.

Neil Anderson, Edinburgh.

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