Readers' letters: Lessons from a tale of two conferences

Where Art I? Edinburgh Sketcher, 17 October 2022Where Art I? Edinburgh Sketcher, 17 October 2022
Where Art I? Edinburgh Sketcher, 17 October 2022
Ian Murray (News, 13 October) needs to visit the opticians if he didn’t notice his Labour Party’s British nationalist conference in Liverpool, which featured a massive Union Jack backdrop, a rendition of God Save The King rather than the Red Flag, and launched the Great British Energy Company that will not nationalise oil or gas companies.

Afterwards, Labour deselected their Ilford South MP Sam Tarry, who had defied Sir Keir Starmer by standing on a union picket line.

The SNP conference announced a £20 billion investment programme to help build a new Scotland using an oil fund, which Labour failed to do in the Blair and Brown years.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

Nicola Sturgeon announced £50 million funding from the Just Transition Fund towards the production of green hydrogen and the development of wave and tidal technology.

The conference also approved a radical education motion to provide universal kindergarten and raising school starting age to six and the Scottish Child Payment, which is unique in the UK, is being increased to £25 a week and extended up to the age of 16.

The SNP is already spending £1.4 billion a year helping the less well off cope with Westminster welfare cuts and introduced a rent freeze, which will be welcomed by tenants in Edinburgh, where average rents have gone up to over £1214 a month, but not in Wales, where Labour joined with the Tories and opposed a rent freeze.

Like the Tories, Labour continues to support Brexit, which is playing havoc with the economy and Scottish exports, plus devastating NHS and hospitality staff recruitment while opposing our Scottish Parliament's democratic mandate to hold a referendum on our future.

Fraser Grant, Edinburgh.

Bond markets pose issue for Scotland

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

I am no economist but it seems to me that the recent turmoil in the bonds market arising from the UK Government’s mini-budget proposals should give supporters of independence pause for thought.The SNP allege that when they have the levers of power they will be able to manage the Scottish economy in a better manner than is currently the case. However, I presume one of the major levers will be their ability to borrow money and I assume this would be by issuing Scottish Government bonds.

Given that market pressure has significantly increased the interest rate which investors are demanding in return for investing in UK Government bonds, which is directly related to the perceived risk of investing in these bonds, what sort of return on their investment would investors be looking to achieve for investing in Scottish Government bonds?

As a new state with no track record and no central bank, presumably these Scottish Government bonds would be regarded as a pretty risky investment and priced accordingly.

Bearing in mind that interest rates are set to continue to rise, how will interest on the vast sums borrowed be serviced, or repayment of the capital?Surely answers to these questions are vital to enable voters to make an informed decision in any independence referendum.

Kate Marshall, Edinburgh.

No place like home

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

I am happy to live in Scotland and can reap the benefits a Scottish devolved government has brought.

I hear the moans about budgets and spending, but if I lived 100 miles south, I would have to pay £43 to get my prescriptions. My trips to the local hospital would not be to the same standard. The prospects for the future are bright, compared to the mess that Westminster has to offer.

John Cutland, Kirkcaldy.

Write to the Edinburgh Evening News

We welcome your thoughts. Write to [email protected] including name, address and phone number – we won't print full details. Keep letters under 300 words, with no attachments. If referring to an article, include date, page number and heading.