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READERS’ LETTERS: Far better use for £2 billion of banking cash

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Sir, – Today I read about the set up for a Scottish National Investment Bank (SNIB) by the former finance secretary, together with the first minister.

Funded by public money for the shocking amount of £2 billion.

The financial plans for the coming year were clear, cuts everywhere and councils way, way underfunded with the first minister claiming it was due to £1.5 billion of cuts from Westminster.

How on earth can the first minister set up an SNIB for £2bn?

This money should be used for the people, for Scotland, not for something very uncertain as investment banking. What a folly!!

The level of education is going downhill, the NHS is overstretched, there are homeless people everywhere, councils cannot give the services any more, the roads are in appalling condition.

There’s no money for anything whatsoever, but there is £2bn available for a bank?

I think the government has its priorities wrong.

Isn’t it about time the government opens its eyes, wakes up and uses public money for the people of Scotland?

The government says it has the best interests of Scotland at heart, but throwing £2bn into an investment bank is gross negligence at least!

Mrs Maaike Cook.

Cash Feus,

Strathmiglo.

 

Budget fuel duty rise is risky

Sir, – New chancellor Rishi Sunak is being pressed not to put up fuel duty in next month’s Budget.

He might want to consider the demonstrations and riots that took place in France when President Macron tried to prove his green credentials to the world by raising petrol duty and imposing other green taxes.

The Yellow Vests took to the streets and Macron quickly backed down.

The Yellow Vests are still on the streets protesting now about working conditions and their under-attack pension conditions.

Our pampered politicians need to realise that UK drivers are the highest taxed drivers in the world.

There are 1.2 billion vehicles in the world so additional fuel duty on the UK’s 38.9 million vehicles would do nothing for the planet.

Clark Cross.

138 Springfield Road,

Linlithgow.

 

Priorities in schools wrong

Sir, – John Swinney has downplayed the falling pass rate in core Higher subjects.

Perhaps the track record of Holyrood’s declining educational standards is in large part due to their aggressive promotion of gender dysphoria.

It is introduced to pre-school nurseries, and strongly reinforced in the curriculum right on through to the senior years.

This is all done for the virtue-signalling reason of equality and inclusion.

They are so obsessed with LGBT they are adopting the Time for Inclusive Education campaign, represented by a rainbow-coloured neck-tie.

It means that they will promote all things LGBT through every subject in the curriculum.

Of course we need to be sensitive to people’s needs and difficulties and this should be reinforced in schools.

Problems are many and varied.

It is difficult therefore to know why promotion of this one issue in the curriculum is so hugely out of balance with other issues.

Do you trust the education of your precious children to a government that is planning an option of 21 sexualities in the next census?

The Scottish Government needs to concentrate more on child-appropriate constructive education and stop actively pushing young people towards premature decisions that may seriously jeopardise their future.

Perhaps if they change their focus we will see future exam results soar.

Sylvia Brown.

Cupar,

Fife.

 

Small countries don’t get look in

Sir, – Scottish nationalists like to tell us that a secessionist Scotland could be like Ireland and benefit from the beneficence of the European Union.

Certainly, Ireland has been a beneficiary of EU largesse since it joined, along with the UK and Denmark, in 1973.

And Ireland’s outgoing Taoiseach, Leo Varadkar, has been a poster boy for EU championing of small countries during the Brexit process.

But how quickly times change. Now, without the UK’s net contribution to its funds, the EU has reduced the payments it makes to Ireland for farmers and to infrastructure.

And, beyond that, Ireland has been asked to make higher payments to the EU budget.

Does any of this suggest that a separate Scotland could ‘sit at the top table’ of the EU (wherever that may be) and dictate policy, as the SNP claims to wish to do on fisheries?

There are, of course, reasons for Scotland not being admitted to the EU in the foreseeable future – currency, central bank and deficit – but it now seems clear that, even if these were resolved, the EU would not prioritise Scottish interests or heed its requests.

Small countries do not punch above their weight.

Jill Stephenson.

Glenlockhart Valley,

Edinburgh.

 

It wasn’t meant to be like this

Sir, – Half of England and parts of Scotland are under water, people want answers, and the prime minister is nowhere to be seen.

His people deny suggestions he has not returned from his mysteriously free holiday in Mustique, and is seeking political asylum.

They also deny that he is locked up in Downing Street because Dominic doesn’t trust him out on his own.

His new immigration policy has not gone down well: farmers, fishermen, care providers, staunch Brexiteers all now baying for blood, his blood.

The European trade deal, ‘the easiest deal ever’, is not, and it is said that Boris has set his team to find a way to avoid the checks on goods between UK and Northern Ireland, which were agreed in the Brexit deal.

If this happens then the UK is almost certainly headed for a no deal, which, of course, is of no consequence to Mr Johnson.

He doesn’t care either way.

But his alternative deal, with the US, popular with his friends and funders in the city, is not going well either.

The other day apparently he suffered an ‘apoplectic tirade’, on the phone from his good friend Donald Trump, over the UK’s decision to allow Huawei to be involved in developing the UK 5G network.

While he was on the phone, I’m sure the president also instructed him to get his finger out on the sale of the NHS, and to stop prevaricating on the steroid-steeped, chlorine-flavoured chicken.

Compared to knocking out a few thousand words for the Telegraph this prime ministerial lark is not what he thought it would be.

Poor Boris! It wasn’t supposed to be like this.

Les Mackay.

5 Carmichael Gardens,

Dundee.

 

Four seasons in one day

Sir, – Scotland is known worldwide for its ability to serve up four seasons in one day.

Over the past few weeks we have had gales, snow, torrential rain and, from time to time, a glimmer of sunshine and bright blue skies.

Given the weather has been so variable, I was delighted to see daffodils and snowdrops coming through.

It seems, as my granny used to say, spring is beginning to sprung.

Bill Steven.

Dronley,

Angus.

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