Readers' letters: Openness is key to financial regularity

Working in an area where we are financially audited, I know the importance of a paper trail and being able to evidence where money has come from and gone to.

By The Newsroom
Monday, 21st March 2022, 7:00 am
Auditor General Stephen Boyle
Auditor General Stephen Boyle

For Audit Scotland to not be able to inspect the Scottish Government’s financial records to their satisfaction should be embarrassing at best, with heads rolling at worst.

Yes, there was a requirement to get money out the door to those that needed it soonest, but that does not mean that good practice should go out the window – £4.8bn is no small sum and as the Auditor General said “knowing where the money went matters.”

It does matter as first it may have got into the wrong hands as fraud would have been rife with many hoping to benefit from the chaos that ensued.

Second, it is tax payers that will be paying this money back for many decades to come. Finally if you don’t know what went where, how do you know you spent it all.

If we can’t trust the SNP government to maintain transparent financial records, how can we trust them with anything else?

Jane Lax, Aberlour.

Warning lights are blinking for Boris

Alex Cole-Hamilton who leads three MSPs, not including himself, is right about one thing (News, March 16). There are “warning lights blinking across the dashboard of public policy” because of UK government corruption, economic malfeasance and destruction of public services.

Billions were squandered on Covid contracts for cronies and the UK has one of the highest Covid death rates in the developed world.

The Brexit disaster has cost the UK £30bn pa, exports to the EU have fallen by £20bn and trade losses are more than 178 times bigger than Truss’ pitiful trade deals. The Australia deal alone will deliver a £94m hit to farming, forestry and fishing.

Dangerous pesticides banned in the EU are now allowed in the UK. The fall in living standards has been the largest since records began. Inflation is set to surpass 7 per cent while 4 million children live in poverty and food banks outnumber McDonalds.

UK citizens will pay 54 per cent more for energy while French citizens will pay four. The privatisation of public assets - water, transport and energy - has enriched corporations and shareholders and impoverished the public.

Meanwhile, Boris hobnobs with tyrants from Putin’s oligarchs to the House of Saud’s MBS, making the City of London the cesspool for the world’s dirty money.

Scots have the power through the Claim of Right to terminate a treaty that has become toxic for Scotland.

Leah Gunn Barrett, Edinburgh.

P&O disgrace

I can’t think of a worse way to treat loyal staff than P&O serving illegal instant redundancy notices to all marine staff saying without any notice their jobs were to be taken by contract workers at lower rates.

I would urge anyone using ferry services to boycott P&O and seek alternative companies in protest at P&O's ridiculous Dickensian approach to industrial relations.

D Forbes Grattan, Aberdeen.

LGBT identity

Oh dear, creationist and anti-gay SNP politician John Mason is at it again.

We hear his belief that the damaging horror of soon to be banned so-called LGBT conversion therapy would be better addressed by LGBT people simply making stronger willed choices such as they might in resisting chocolate.

Mr Mason, LGBT identity is not a choice, unlike your religious beliefs.

Neil Barber, Edinburgh Secular Society.

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