Readers' letters: Time to stop talking Scotland down

The fact that people in Edinburgh rate it the best place in the world in which to live disproves claims that after 15 years of SNP rule everything in Scotland is rubbish - Unionists should stop talking Scotland down.

More than 20 per cent of the total number of Ukrainian visa applications to the UK have named a Scottish sponsor while Wales has also paused its own visa scheme due to the volume of applications.

Also, per head of population, Ireland has taken in more Ukrainians than the UK.

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This latest attack on the Scottish government is typical of Unionist misinformation with scant regard for the facts.

On BBC Politics Live, Dr Philippa Whitford had to correct the BBC presenter and a Tory MP by pointing out that Scotland had outperformed England and Wales on A&E and cancer treatment waiting times for the past seven years. All of England's ambulance services are now at REAP level 4 - 'black alert'.

Thanks to SNP’s progressive policies, Scotland now has lower child poverty than any part of England or Wales.

Based on the data and evidence, Scotland out performs the other UK nations on health, education, policing, the environment and transport as well as on reducing poverty. That’s why people consistently vote SNP.

Fraser Grant, Edinburgh.

Don’t forget PFI

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Susan Dalgety’s paean to Labour (News, July 11) overlooks its toxic Private Finance Initiative (PFI) legacy, that has cost Scotland billions.

PFI is when the public sector pays private companies to construct and manage new buildings. Introduced by John Major’s government but significantly expanded by Tony Blair and championed by Gordon Brown and Jack McConnell, PFI was used for Scottish schools, hospitals, waste treatment plants and roads.

The estimated annual charges the public sector is paying private companies is over £30 billion on contracts that last 35 years.

PFI isn’t value for money since it’s more than five times the £5.6 billion initial costs associated with constructing and opening the buildings.

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It’s telling that Gordon Brown could find the money to bail out the banks during the 2008 financial crash but not to build public infrastructure – schools, hospitals and roads – that benefits people.

There’s no material difference between the Tories and Labour. They are beholden to the same corporate interests/donors, oppose ditching the undemocratic first past the post voting system, support a cataclysmic Brexit, and will continue the relentless privatisation of public assets to the detriment of the people.

Leah Gunn Barrett, Edinburgh.

WPL unwanted tax

Before the 5 May 2022 council elections the SNP, which ran the City of Edinburgh Council in a coalition with Labour, clearly stated that they would introduce a Workplace Parking Levy.

However, Labour disagreed and after the May elections with the Conservatives and Lib Dems seized control of Edinburgh council and immediately confirmed there was no prospect of WPL being introduced and that no Labour local authority in Scotland had any inclination to impose WPL.

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Robert Aldridge, a Liberal, was appointed Lord Provost of Edinburgh and the 12 Liberals are now backing the SNP and the Greens in introducing the WPL as quickly as possible.

Despicable Liberal turncoats are taking their high salaries from the businesses and staff forced to pay the WPL.

Clark Cross, Linlithgow.

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