Readers' letters: Murray is picking on the wrong target

What must it be like to spend all your time attacking your nation and its health service? That’s what Ian Murray does (News, December 2).

By The Newsroom
Tuesday, 7th December 2021, 7:00 am

For the record, the Scottish health service consistently outperforms England’s because it retained its public health boards, is better resourced by the Scottish Government, and hasn’t been sold off to private interests as its English counterpart has.

Scotland spends more per head on health and has more doctors, nurses and midwives than England. Our vaccination rate is the highest of the four nations and our Covid death rate is far lower than England’s. Unlike England, we never got rid of protections such as face masks. Our Test and Protect system is fully functioning, unlike the £37.5 billion English Test and Trace fiasco that has never worked because it was farmed out to private company Serco.

Ian knows full well that the block grant that funds Scotland, just a portion of the money we send south, isn’t enough to adequately resource our health and social services. He knows we are tethered to Westminster priorities which don’t include the health and wellbeing of its people, but rather the financial interests of the bankers and the wealthy.

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It’s crystal clear Ian doesn’t have Scotland’s best interests at heart because if he did, he’d support the restoration of our sovereignty. We’d govern ourselves a lot better.

Leah Gunn Barrett, Edinburgh.

A far from merry Xmas with Johnson

Is it never going to end? As if all the allegations of corruption and duplicity by Boris Johnson’s Tory cabal in Westminster were not bad enough, we now hear that, in flagrant disregard of the rules in force at the time, drinks parties were being held in Downing Street last Christmas.

The country was in lockdown, but apparently rules designed to keep the public safe did not, by whatever magic, apply in that special place!

And yet, as we see from the Old Bexley and Sidcup by-election result, people are still, contrary to all common sense, prepared to vote Tory.

Can anyone still really believe that we are better together with this lot?

David Howdle, Dumfries.

Currency concerns for mortgage payments

I read the letter by Mary Thomas (December 3) with despondency at the lack of comprehension how currencies and borrowing work and the danger that would face a Scotland in a world with no credit rating and no reserves.

Scotland would have to build up a credit rating and that would take decades. What would be the interest rate imposed on Scotland in the meantime?

UK government bonds are currently being issued at less than one per cent. In comparison, Venezuela’s are at over 10 per cent for the same product.

Being part of the UK means that we can borrow at this low rate. It makes no economic sense to tear ourselves away from the current position.

If Scotland were to have her own currency, current mortgages would still be in Sterling, the currency they were borrowed in. Any fluctuation in exchanges would mean you could end up paying vastly different monthly amounts.

Who would be willing to risk not knowing how much their mortgage payment is month to month?

How many people moan when going on holiday and see that the Euro is strong and we get fewer to the pound Sterling? For a holiday you might exchange £200. Imagine that impact on your £200,000 mortgage. This is not Project Fear. It is Project Reality.

Jane Lax, Aberlour.