Readers' letters: Sunak’s policies are punishing the poor

Rishi Sunak’s latest austerity statement punishes the poor while protecting the richest in society.

Signage at The Meadows
Signage at The Meadows

It is pure spin to blame it all on Covid, which the UK as an island should have been best placed to contain or Ukraine, due to decades of failed economic and political decisions to favour the City of London rather than investing in renewable energy manufacturing industries while giving oil and gas companies massive tax rebates.

The Scottish Government is currently spending £600 million a year mitigating the worst effects of Tory welfare policies, which is more than twice the total cost of saving commercial shipbuilding on the Clyde.

The Office for Budget Responsibility says inflation at 6.2 per cent, which is higher than in Germany, plus higher taxes from next month will produce the biggest fall in real disposable household income since records began in 1956.

The OBR also reported that leaving the EU has resulted in UK overseas trade falling 15 per cent lower than had we remained in the EU.

Trade as a share of the UK's GDP has fallen 12 per cent since 2019, two and a half times worse than any other G7 country and missed out on the recovery in global trade.

By 2026, Tory Britain could be matching “high tax” Norway but without the high wages and world-beating public services

By voting No in 2014, we have missed out on the benefits of being in the EU and, with an oil price at $115, living in a wealthy energy rich country with no need for such austerity measures.

Mary Thomas, Edinburgh.

Council must address homelessness better

Last week Shelter Scotland highlighted the plight of thousands of children trapped in temporary accommodation in Edinburgh, and asked people to join us in demanding that our city’s leaders finally step up and deliver the social housing needed to end this intolerable situation.

Since then, hundreds of people in Edinburgh have added their voices by signing our petition. They’re joined by hundreds more from across the rest of the country.

I was encouraged by the response offered to your reporter by City of Edinburgh Cllr Kate Campbell, Convenor of the Housing, Homelessness and Fair Work Committee. She acknowledged and accepted the scale of the problem and rightly noted that Edinburgh has the lowest proportion of social homes and the most expensive private rented sector in the country.

That is exactly why Shelter Scotland highlighted the need for the council to address that gap and build the 7000 social homes that our analysis shows Edinburgh so urgently needs. That figure is based on scrutiny of the council’s own Strategic Housing Investment Plan, but we know targets have been missed in the capital before.

There’s no doubt Edinburgh faces exceptional pressures on its housing stock, but that’s why thecity’s leaders must be exceptional in their response. The city’s residents, especially the thousands of children without a permanent home, should not accept anything less.

Alison Watson, Director, Shelter Scotland.

Disgraceful sign of the times at Meadows

This disgraceful sign was a photographic magnet for tourists in the recent beautiful sunshine.

Surely not the image Edinburgh wishes to promote to our own citizens, or to our returning visitors. I am hoping the appropriate authority will take immediate action to clean it up.

Elizabeth Malcolm, Edinburgh.

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