WE are warned that Kate Forbes’s budget on Thursday will necessarily be hard on some sectors of public spending because of the need to spend extra funds on the NHS, in the wake of the Covid crisis. Yet, at the same time, Nicola Sturgeon is tasking her officials with preparing a prospectus for Indyref2. This is a party political matter, one beyond the remit of Holyrood, given that constitutional issues are reserved, not devolved. Therefore, it is not appropriate for Ms Sturgeon to spend our money on publicly funded officials for work on this project. If the SNP wants a separatist prospectus, let it pay for it. Otherwise, we shall know that party and state are being merged in SNP Scotland. Jill Stephenson, Edinburgh.