Readers' letters: Labour is following the Tory route, Ian

Ian Murray says Keir Starmer’s Labour Party has positive energy and ideas that will rescue a sinking UK (News, October 13). But a cursory examination shows this is empty verbiage, something at which Ian excels.
Labour leader Sir Keir Starmer deliver his speech at the Labour conference (Picture: Kirsty O'Connor/PA)Labour leader Sir Keir Starmer deliver his speech at the Labour conference (Picture: Kirsty O'Connor/PA)
Labour leader Sir Keir Starmer deliver his speech at the Labour conference (Picture: Kirsty O'Connor/PA)

Starmer has broken nearly all of his campaign pledges. He won’t re-join the EU nor will he join the European Free Trade Association that would give the UK immediate access to the Single Market.

He won’t stand with trade unions in their fight for a living wage, supposedly Labour’s raison d’etre.

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He has rejected a proportional voting system, supported by a majority of Labour members, that would give a voice to the millions disenfranchised by first past the post.

He has pledged to balance the budget, not understanding that the government isn’t like a household because it creates money and owns a central bank.

As such, he has put Labour on a path towards more austerity, when it’s clear the country wants and needs the opposite.

And he opposes the right of nations in the Union to decide their own future, the antithesis of democracy.

Spot any difference with the Tories?

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Scotland has been treated as a UK colony. Its resources – energy, land and water - have been plundered to subsidise the British State.

Despite being self-sufficient in energy, nearly a quarter of Scottish households live in fuel poverty compared to 10.9 per cent in England.

A Labour government won’t change this. Only restoring our independence will.

Leah Gunn Barrett, Edinburgh.

Spending Nicola’s indy fund better

The First Minister continues to defend valiantly her £20 million referendum fund remaining untouched, a huge nest egg of taxpayers money put aside for her party’s work towards the break up the UK.

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It is interesting that the amount is almost exactly half of what has been cut from the SNP’s now increasingly austere Education budget. And funds for fighting Europe’s highest drug deaths are not helped either.

At least we know where the SNP’s priorities lie.

Alexander McKay, Edinburgh.

Business VAT rules should be fairer

The small Scottish business where I work places an advert on a leading recruitment website for people to work at its premises near Edinburgh.

This little business has to pay 20 per cent VAT on its turnover, while the recruitment platform pays none. (It is officially based in the Irish Republic.)

Given that the business and its potential employees are all resident in Scotland, the service provided by the recruitment platform is intimately connected with this country.

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In the circumstances, it is no better than a scam to allow the website to escape liability to pay VAT on the transaction to the UK government.

This is just one example of the wider phenomenon of small businesses being harshly taxed, while vast, internet-based corporations pay next to nothing.

It would be nice if there were some politicians who actually stood up for small businesses, not just because they are an essential part of the economy, but also because they deserve a fair deal.

Otto Inglis, Crossgates, Fife.

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