Readers' letters: Smaller population is good for Scotland

People should welcome, not fear, a decline in the Scottish population.

We should welcome, not fear, a decline in the Scottish population
We should welcome, not fear, a decline in the Scottish population

The recent projections by the Scottish Fiscal Commission show a gradual reduction by a sixth, spread over half-a-century, not a catastrophic crash.

As a highly developed and affluent nation Scotland both contributes disproportionately to climate change and unsustainable levels of consumption, and has the financial capacity to manage changes in age structure.

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Nor should Scots fear a decline in GDP growth. While economists and politicians may have persuaded us that GDP measures something important, it disregards justice and human and ecological wellbeing.

Crude economic growth is laying waste to the planet, while just five per cent of the income generated from growth in GDP goes to the world's poorest 60 per cent. Measured by what's important, Scotland's population trajectory is positive.

Alistair Currie, Population Matters, London SE1

No consipracy over agency work fees

Hardly remarkable that the Scottish Government plus 79 public bodies including SNHS used recruitment agencies over the last three years to replace essential staff lost to Covid stress, UK GPs’ pension problems prompting early retirements, and workers leaving due to Brexit.

£40 million recruitment costs represents £2.47 per person p.a. Were these crises better handled by UK government and Brexit not inflicted on us, it would have certainly saved this money.Many jobs were for IT staff, an industry commonly using external contractors.

For MSP Alex Cole-Hamilton and Pat Rafferty, president of Unite union, to claim this expenditure is some kind of SNP political ‘scandal’ is facile.

Supposed links to ‘Tory donors’ such as Lord Ashcroft who own shares in such companies is irrelevant.

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It’s hardly practical to select a recruitment company based on it having zero political connections among any of its board or investors.The Scottish Government and public bodies were simply doing their job by finding essential staff as quickly as possible.

Mairianna Clyde, Edinburgh.

What happens to waste disposal?

It’s good that Scotland is proving accommodation for Ukrainian refugees, albeit on a boat, but what happens to all the waste generated by the residents on board?

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The boat can hold 1700 people, if they each flush the toilet just four times a day then where does all that waste go? It is more than likely that those on board have some kind of waste packaging. Where does that go?

We know it hasn’t been collected by the council recently. Is it piling-up on the quayside or is the First Minister’s private waste contractor collecting it?

BA Proctor, Stonehaven.

E-scooter danger

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Police Scotland is hunting two teenage thugs on electric scooters who seriously assaulted a man in Edinburgh.

E-scooters are illegal on Scottish roads, cycle lanes and pavements yet Police Scotland do nothing.

There have been eight deaths and over 2000 injuries in the UK and e-scooters were involved in more than 500 recorded crimes in London in the past year.

E-scooters are becoming the getaway vehicle of choice for robberies, assaults, drive-by shootings and even rape yet the UK government is about to legalise them south of the Border. Madness.

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Clark Cross, Linlithgow.

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