Sir, – In spite of the fact that we have benefited hugely from the UK’s ability to borrow vast sums to fund our response to the Covid crisis, the first minister gives the impression she has had a “good crisis”.
I suspect economics will test that idea to destruction.
The UK entered the crisis with a budget deficit of 2.5% of GDP compared with our scary 9%. The UK’s official deficit forecast for 2020-21 is around 20% of GDP while Scotland’s is 30%.
Under full fiscal autonomy or independence, the deficit would be Holyrood’s responsibility, and the need for huge tax rises or spending cuts would be unmistakable.
The SNP often draw parallels between Scotland and the successful smaller Scandinavian economies but they have levels of taxation around 45% of GDP compared with our 35%.
If we want fiscally credible independence and the public services currently enjoyed, we and what’s left of our private sector will have to pay for it – and how!
Brexit was a mistake but hiving off Scotland from the UK is lunacy.
Dr John Cameron.
Howard Place, St Andrews.
Unionists are willing Scotland to fail
Sir, – The two opposing arguments in Scotland are we are likely to be more successful in or out of the union.
However, you can’t but think the unionist position is a rather negative one.
Most appear to talk of failure and some seem to revel in this.
Is this the only country in the world where part of the population wish for their own country to fail if its people decide to stand on their own two feet?
Bluebell Cottage, Perth.
More than Covid for UK to think about
Sir, – Who would have thought, a year ago, that Brexit would be eclipsed by Covid-19?
Given the further deterioration in Iranian/Israeli relations, we may have almost forgotten about the virus before January 20, when Joe Biden takes office with a presumably less hawkish attitude towards Iran.
Because if another Gulf War is fabricated and the UK is roped in again, with Russia and China backing Iran, the result could be cyber-retaliation against us.
And so we might end up with other things to think about.
Hudson Road, Rosyth.
Serving city for 50 years and counting
Sir, – I was interested in your piece (A vote for independents as shoppers stay local, Courier, December 5)
Ian Alexander’s shop and café no doubt played an important role during the first lockdown but he seemed to overlook the fact he was not the only independent business which remained open.
THE HEALTH STORE in Commercial Street remained open six days a week from March to the present time.
We also delivered to dozens of customers in and around the city, thanks to our dedicated staff. A special provision was granted by the government to all health stores in Britain because of their unique role.
For 50 years we have served the needs of the Dundee people and hope to do so for many more years.
Partner, THE HEALTH STORE.
Pennies and hupnies thrown in ‘scrambly’
Sir, – Steve Finan brought a big smile to my face with his column (Oh my word!, Courier, December 5).
The words and their modern descriptions brought back to my mind my childhood in Dundee where the older words were everyday language, in fact I still use a lot of them today.
And the idea of a garret being called a compact apartment was something I found hilarious.
The only word that isn’t in my “Concise Scots Dictionary” is “skedaddle” and I wondered where that one came from.
As for “ scrambly”, well that was something all the local children loved, although it was usually pennies and hupnies in the part of town that I lived in.
Keep up the good work with your defence of the English language though, because in this modern world, it’s becoming a bit lost.
Findhorn Street, Fintry.