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.


RUNNING a country should be like running a business in the sense that you need a strong balance sheet, positive cash flow anda good credit rating — especially if you hit unprecedented times and require eye-watering amounts of borrowing during a pandemic. Fortunately we have the Bank of England which has an excellent track record over the past 300 years and is backed by a £2 trillion economy. The extension of the furlough scene until next March to protect millions of private sector jobs throughout the UK is a prime example. The idea that you could establish an independent Scotland in the foreseeable future (after the eco- nomic effects of the pandemic) without a currency, with massive debt and large fiscal deficit suc- cessfully is not just a silly pipe dream, it would be the height of folly with a flight of capital (like Quebec) and people south and elsewhere.

The SNP needs more than people who paint their faces, wave flags and hurl abuse at people who may have a different view about independence. Just look at how wrong the polls were in the US due to the importance voters placed on the economy and not the “noise” which was generated by selfseek- ing politicians. Come another ref- erendum not only would it be fought on different terms to the last one, people (including the fi- nancial institutions) would want to be convinced that the SNP has a viable economic plan supported by the business sector and not just by a number of inexperienced career politicians with their heads in the sand.

Ian Lakin, Aberdeen AB13.

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