ACCORDING to Leah Gunn Barrett (Letters, November 9) “Scotland does not have a deficit”. According to the Institute for Fiscal Studies, Scotland’s deficit will reach 28 per cent of GDP in 2020- 21. Ms Barrett, like all nationalists, makes the false claim that Scotland is badly treated by England. Far from being treated badly, thanks to the Barnett formula, every Scot, man, woman and child, has more than £1,800 spent on them compared with England’s average. It is only because of this cash that all the freebies which the SNP claim for its own can be afforded. Separation would end this cash. Scotland spent £15 billion more on public services than it generated in tax last year. If it became independent the SNP would not only have to terminate the freebies, but hike VAT, national insurance, and slash spending on the NHS, the police, education, and transport. We would really know the meaning of austerity then. The nationalists know this but they ignore it. It’s time for them to tell the truth to the people. William Loneskie, Lauder.