Sir, – Readers of The Courier are indebted to Jim Spence for devoting his regular column to his reflections on the importance of faith.
As Mr Spence explains, these dark and difficult times compel us to think seriously about the meaning of life.
He also makes the valid and rational assertion he “increasingly couldn’t accept that something simply came from nothing”.
As for his closing remark that “it’s up to each individual to decide their own beliefs”, it is important to add the caveat that if truth is truth, it is by definition truth for all of us, whether or not we personally choose to believe it.
Matters of faith, life and death are simply too important to be left to the realms of subjectivity.
Thankfully God has not left us in the dark about these things, having revealed himself clearly in his Word, his creation and in the person of Jesus Christ, who himself affirmed (John 14:6): “I am the way, the truth and the life.”
The Bible makes clear it is by faith in the life, death and resurrection of Jesus that any one of us may know peace and security, both in the turmoil of this life and in the life to come.
Michael Veitch. Parliamentary Officer, CARE for Scotland.
Pensions are higher – but so are taxes
Sir, – Lindsay Craik is trying to compare this country to Norway but I fear he is ignoring some pertinent statistics and facts.
Firstly, Norway has been independent for more than 116 years. Secondly, Norway is continuing to export and use oil and gas and will continue to do so, unlike the SNP/Green Alliance.
Scandinavia also manufactures rather more than we do as the present government here has done little or nothing to ensure the survival of what is left of a proud manufacturing base.
We now rely on imports from countries which pay only lip service to pollution and the creation of CO2.
Norway’s pension rates are higher but so is their tax and the cost of living. Tax on income (including social security and health) is at a rate of about 32%.
The cost of a pint of beer is the equivalent of £6, a bottle of whisky is about £32, a bottle of wine £12, 2lb of potatoes is £1.80 and enough bread for two people for a day is £2.15. Petrol costs about £1.53 a litre and VAT is at 25%.
If Scotland became independent soon, where would all the money come from to pay the level of pension of which Mr Craik dreams?
A nice dream but totally unrealistic given the fact we would no longer receive vast sums of money from the government of England, Wales and Northern Ireland and I do not believe the EU would come to our rescue in any great haste.
John D Ridley. Spoutwells Drive, Scone.
Bottom line depends on what you pay
Sir, – With reference to Lindsay Craik and retiring in an independent Scotland on a state pension of £17,200.
He lives in a fantasy world.
He compares countries in north-west Europe and France with high state pensions but fails to tell you how they are funded.
They pay up to 10% of their salary into a government fund – company pensions are not so common over there.
In the UK we pay a much smaller percentage to the government and many people in the UK pay into a company pension fund.
The bottom line is, the more you pay the more you get.
A Hendry. Luke Pace. Broughty Ferry.
Energy gravy train for mad inventors
Sir, – If the end of the world was really nigh – as the Greens claim – then surely they would grab at carbon-free nuclear power to save us all? But they persist with wind and sun and unrealistic schemes peddled by those seeking subsidy with no guarantee of success.
Indeed, energy has turned into another gravy train, this time for mad inventors.
Westminster must quickly realise that without a permanent source of real power, Britain will be effectively ruled by industrial countries who wisely continue to develop their economies with reliable sources of energy.
Malcolm Parkin. Gamekeepers Road, Kinnesswood.