Readers' letters: Scotland is shackled as part of a UK which is the economic sick man of Europe

"The UK is £15,739 per person less wealthy than European countries similar or smaller than Scotland”

Thursday, 1st July 2021, 7:00 am
UK has the lowest level of wealth per head of population of all countries in north-west Europe

Scotland shackled to sick man of Europe

Figures from the International Monetary Fund (IMF) indicating that the UK has the lowest level of wealth per head of population of all countries in north-west Europe should come as no real surprise.

These show that the UK has a national income (GDP) level of £31,038 per head of the population in 2021 - the lowest of its 13 neighbouring countries .

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The average wealth of all countries, per person, is £36,100 - £5062 higher than the UK's rate.

The gap between the UK's GDP levels and its European neighbours has also widened over the last two decades, with the UK going from having a GDP which was 7.6 per cent (£2219) lower than the average of its neighbours in 2000, to 16.3 per cent (£5062) lower this year.

The UK is now a whopping £15,739 per person less wealthy than those independent European countries similar in size to or smaller than Scotland.

Scotland is shackled as part of a UK which is truly the economic sick man of Europe, and the only way to unleash our full economic potential and be as successful as our European neighbours is through becoming a normal independent country.

Alex Orr, Marchmont Road, Edinburgh.

Taxpayers deserve accountability

Boris Johnson might now regret not sacking Dominic Cummings after his Barnard Castle trip broke Covid-19 rules applying to everyone else.

Cummings’s later revelations showed the Prime Minister anything but gratitude.

When Boris was elected Conservative Party leader it was said he had the strong support of older party members, which proved the adage that there is no fool like an old one!

Electorally, at the general election we saw red walls collapse and now a blue one in the recent by-election!

It is bad enough state security documents being left at bus stops. The ex-Health Secretary Matt Hancock’s office affair now looks like concentrating more on who leaked what with security cameras than investigating the poor attention Whitehall gave to the prevalence of chumocracy in awarding public contracts in the health service that taxpayers ended up paying for.

Taxpayers and voters must insist on answers and on accountability. Are we being served or simply used as cash dispenser?

Jim Craigen, Downie Grove, Edinburgh.

E-bikes and scooters need legal controls

Halfords has reported increased profits of £96.3 million, up from £55.9 million. A lot of it due to surging sales of bikes, e-cycles and e-scooters.

E-scooters are not yet legal on our roads, although trials are going on in 30 cities.

Bikes, e-cycles and e-scooters cost from £200 to well over £1000. If the owners can afford these prices plus all the gear that goes with them, then they can afford to pay to use the roads.

They should also be insured, pass a test and carry an identification plate on the machine and on a hi-viz jacket so they can be reported to the police when they flaunt the Highway Code and illegally ride on pavements, endangering pedestrians.

Clark Cross, Springfield Road, Linlithgow.

Dig out planters

Will Edinburgh Council remove planter boxes from roadways around schools, given we have now commenced seven weeks of school holidays?

Andy May, Gilmerton Road, Edinburgh.