The SNP have successfully hidden the OECD report from governmental scrutiny until after the election. What they, however, did not manage to do was silence Audit Scotland from revealing the desperate figures around the attainment gap. The poverty-related attainment gap is wide -36.2 per cent wide, to be precise. The SNP can say they are working on it but, as Willie Rennie pointed out in Holy-rood this week, it will take 35 years to close that attainment gap. That is this generation, the next generation and the generation after that. The SNP are failing those in poverty; they are failing to provide the means with which they can obtain the skills and abilities to get good jobs, improve their lives, their mental health and their futures. This is one of the biggest responsibilities a government has. I hope that you are judged on education, Ms Sturgeon, on 6 May. I really do, as you have failed catastrophically. JANE LAX

I REALISE the 4 per cent NHS pay rise is for the invaluable services of staff, but why did the Scottish Government make this announcement days after the vote of no confidence in Nicola Sturgeon? What about council workers who have worked through the pandemic – such as bin collectors, care workers etc – that SNP ministers have ignored with their poor financial settlement for local government? You may call me cynical but this is nothing more than point-scoring, using the hard-working people in the NHS as political footballs and trying to out-score the UK Government. This tit-for-tat behaviour brings the level of the Scottish Government to a new low. It reminds me of the playground antics in my primary school. I am starting to become ashamed of being Scottish and proud to be British. VALERIE STEWART East Kilbride, Lanarkshire.

The defence review proposes cuts to the Army, but increases in funding for other services like the Navy as threats change. For the Navy, there is to be an increase in surface ships and as they are likely to built on the Clyde, this is good news for Scotland. A boost from being in the Union, is it not!
William Ballantine, Dean Road, Beness.


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