Brexit, migration and the cost of living may be among the reasons why Scots are having fewer children, but the bottom line is decent housing is out of the reach of most couples. With both parents needing to work, couples will at best delay or at worst not have children. And if they do, I’m sure the stress caused by tight budgets and juggling time is one of the main reasons for the child mental health epidemic. The mortgage on a £200k, three-bedroom “affordable” home is around £800 a month – and likely to increase. Someone on average £25k per year would have around £1600 left each month after tax, NI and a pension contribution, leaving around £Boo per month for food, baby stuff, council tax, clothing -overdraft territory, and looming catastrophe if they lose their job. That’s if they can scrape together a flok deposit. So the choice is to wait or for both to work. Assuming there are no grandparents willing to do five days per week of childminding and the parents cant manage their shifts, the cost of childcare is around £6o per day, or £1200 per month per child for the first three years until government childcare payments are available, leaving a second partner on the same pay scale around £400 per month to fund the overheads of working such as lunch, clothing and transport. Is it any wonder young couples think twice about having kids? The excellent BBC Scotland documentary Priced Out (available on the BBC iPlayer ) is a devastating critique of the Scottish Government’s failure to act on helping families with funding, planning legislation reform and failure to adopt some of the successful first-time buyer programmes in England. They don’t need a £25k questionnaire to find out why couples aren’t having babies. The answer is staring them in the face: get more, good, cheaper houses built. Allan Sutherland, Stonehaven.