Sir, – There is a conversation the whole country needs to have – indeed it is one it cannot avoid – about how we pay for the huge costs of the lockdowns, the consequent recession and the rise in the national debt by over £350 billion.
The private sector of the economy and the tax base have shrunk, whilst the public sector is as large as ever.
We cannot simply make up the gap between the demands for public expenditure and the shortfall in revenue by raising taxes, nor can we keep increasing the national debt.
Also, economists have long warned of the dangers of using inflation as a means of shrinking the national debt.
Those of us who remember the 1970s can confirm the destructiveness of inflation.
No, there is only one way forward; the government must make major economies.
We should start by cancelling HS2 and so save at least £100 billion.
If we don’t get an EU trade deal, then we should cancel the ‘divorce bill.’
We should also greatly shrink the foreign aid budget of £15 billion per year, and restrict it to emergency aid for famines and war refugees.
And nor should we forget the many smaller government budgets, the arts for example.
Westminster and the devolved governments must learn the benefits of strict economy.
Our children’s futures depend on it.
Legal advice is one of few growing sectors
Sir, – George Galloway’s description of the Green Party as “the gardening section of the SNP” is as true as it is amusing.
Whenever the latter has been in a hole the Greens have been there to dig them out.
But last week the Greens stepped out of line and voted with the opposition parties to demand the release of whatever legal advice the SNP Government was given during its Salmond investigation. The resolution demanding release of the advice is not binding, but if the Scottish Government can ignore a vote by the Scottish Parliament there is no logical reason why Westminster could not do the same if presented with a demand for another referendum.
With further parliamentary inquiries pending into projects like the £200 million Calmac ferries rusting in the Ferguson shipyard, the huge waste of taxpayers’ money on the BiFab engineering yards, Prestwick airport and the Edinburgh Children’s Hospital, legal advice for the Scottish Government could be one of our few growth industries.
St John’s Place,
Furlough has helped to protect Scotland
Sir, – Dr Graeme Finnie’s comments (Debacle over furlough will not be forgotten by Scots, Courier, November 5) stretches credulity.
It seems to be yet another highly selective Scottish Nationalist attack on a UK Government that has already provided billions of pounds to support jobs and businesses in Scotland.
The prime minister has, on two recent occasions, confirmed the inclusion of Scotland within the UK’s furlough scheme that only requires Kate Forbes and her finance team to agree the financial detail with the UK Treasury.
The trouble with devolved powers in this situation, is the issue of policy diversity that could, for example, lead to Holyrood declaring an extension to the furlough scheme that extends much further than policy in England, and thereby expecting the UK Treasury to pay for it.
How many deaths from Covid rules?
Sir, – Daily the number of alleged Covid deaths are posted on our TV screens at the first minister’s briefing.
Can we also see an estimated figure for the number of deaths that are due to the Covid restrictions?
For example, cancer and cardiac patients who missed out on hospital diagnosis and treatment, and others who have died of loneliness, despair and suicide.