Sir, – As a coalition of leading providers of care and support to vulnerable children and young people, we welcome the consensus among the major political parties in the Scottish Parliament election to tackling the growing mental health crisis in our young people.
We have for some time raised concerns over a potential lost generation of vulnerable children and young people, whose mental health is being impacted further by Covid-19.
The commitment to focus on mental health, increasing investment in support services and intervention strategies, is appreciated and must be a priority for the parliament.
Our children are remarkably resilient, but the statistics on the deteriorating mental health of many of them presents a compelling case for a national crusade to address a mental health pandemic, underpinned by considerably greater resourcing.
This crisis is one we can address, but it will require a similar commitment to that demonstrated for Covid-19 if we are to prevent many young people giving up on their futures – and themselves.
The Scottish Children’s Services Coalition.
Queen Street, Edinburgh.
Independence plan is a ‘pig in a poke’
Sir, – In 2016, the Sustainable Growth Commission was set up by Nicola Sturgeon to produce a blueprint for independence.
The final report claimed that Scotland could reduce its fiscal deficit from a predicted 8.2% in 2021-22 to less than 3% within “five to ten years”.
The 3% target is significant because it is the maximum permitted by the EU for countries seeking to join.
The report doesn’t mention it is 20 years since Scotland had a deficit as low as 3% and any move in that direction will become fantasy when the IFS announces our deficit has soared to 22-25%.
In cash terms, that’s £40 billion compared to £15bn.
All of the figures in the report are now invalid and Sturgeon admitted to Andrew Marr that she hasn’t an idea what independence would cost or the consequences of adopting a new currency and a hard border.
Her message, “trust me and I’ll tell you later,” is what used to be called “a pig in a poke”.
St. John’s Place, Perth.
Tough time to be a Tory candidate
Sir, – It must be very difficult being a Tory candidate.
No matter how much they try to distance themselves from their leadership down south and attempt to wrap themselves in the Saltire, they still have to deal with being part of a party mired in allegations of sleaze, cronyism and corruption.
The latest spat between Johnson and Cummings is fast developing into an intriguing soap opera. We all await the latest instalment of allegation and denial.
Meanwhile the Scottish Tories, no doubt wishing it would all go away, are working very hard at not mentioning it – whatever you do don’t mention the Dom-Boris war. After all there is an election pending.
Lour Road, Forfar.
Supporting assisted living, not dying
Sir, – I am writing in support of the letter from Richard Meade of Marie Curie, (End of Life Care, Courier, April 26).
I also thank the Courier for the helpful Election Hub article “Assisted dying back on the Agenda” to highlight the present situation.
I come from a lifetime of nursing, including end of life care, midwifery, health visiting and counselling, including bereavement counselling in a GP surgery setting.
Now retired, my support of palliative care over assisted dying has not wavered. My aim was always to support assisted living, not assisted dying.
I recognise much more needs to be done to fund and support this vital service, and welcome the interest shown in the various manifestos.
Along with other important questions to the prospective candidates, I hope voters will ask where they will stand in the Scottish Parliament should another Bill be brought forward to legislate for assisted dying. It matters to us all as the decision will directly affect ourselves, all our loved ones and the integrity of society.
Teapot Lane, Inverkeilor.