Hooray Holy­rood

An­other U- turn

The Scotsman - - PERSPECTIV­E / LETTERS TO THE EDITOR -

Alexan­der Mckay must be one of the very few peo­ple in Scot­land who hasn’t ben­e­fited from poli­cies in­tro­duced by the Scot­tish Par­lia­ment ( Let­ters, 9 May). Th­ese are gen­er­ally su­pe­rior to else­where in the UK, where ser­vices are clearly get­ting worse un­der West­min­ster con­trol and the gap be­tween the rich­est and poor­est is widen­ing.

In all opin­ion sur­veys, most peo­ple agree our Scot­tish par­lia­ment has been good for the health ser­vice, schools and the econ­omy plus, by nearly three to one, most be­lieve Holy­rood gives or­di­nary folk more say in how Scot­land is gov­erned.

Holy­rood has led the way over health ini­tia­tives such as the smok­ing ban, al­co­hol min­i­mum pric­ing and now on cli­mate change with plans for a de­posit re­turn scheme for sin­gle- use drinks con­tain­ers

Un­der West­min­ster rule all re­gions and na­tions of the UK suf­fer due to eco­nomic poli­cies that are geared to­wards Lon­don’s in­ter­ests – one of the rea­sons Holy­rood needs full fis­cal pow­ers. As James Dun­can points out ( Let­ters, 9 May), Scot­land has ex­tracted as much oil and gas as Norway but un­der West­min­ster con­trol we have a deficit, which in­cludes pay­ing £ 3.6 bil­lion a year to­wards in­ter­est on the UK’S na­tional debt of £ 2000bn, while Norway has an abun­dance of riches. West­min­ster con­tin­ues to be paral­ysed by

Brexit, whereas Holy­rood re­mains sta­ble and ma­ture, with the SNP get­ting on with the day job.

MARY THOMAS Wat­son Cres­cent, Ed­in­burgh The S cotti s h Gov­ern­ment climb down on avi­a­tion tax ( S c ot s man, 9 May) i s j ust the lat­est in an em­bar­rass­ing se­ries of events which, quite frankly, is mak­ing Scot­land look ridicu­lous. It is bad enough that af­ter de­mand­ing fur­ther pow­ers in re­la­tion to wel­fare pay­ments, more than three years down the line the only money spent has been on set­ting up a sys­tem which is still not ready to op­er­ate. Mil­lions of pounds wasted, and Scot­land seen as in­ef­fec­tual.

Now we have Derek Mckay, Cab­i­net Sec­re­tary for Fi­nance, Econ­omy a nd Fa i r Work, claim­ing that his U- turn on avi­a­tion tax is be­cause a UK gov­ern­ment com­mit­tee failed to tell him that cli­mate change is a se­ri­ous prob­lem. Per­haps he should have a word with John Swin­ney, Cab­i­net Sec­re­tary for Ed­u­ca­tion and Skills, who could point out the rel­e­vant sec­tions in Cur­ricu­lum for Ex­cel­lence which deal with cli­mate change and sus­tain­abil­ity. We ex­pect school­child­ren to have an un­der­stand­ing of this is­sue. The Cab­i­net Sec­re­tary’s state­ment smacks of “It wis­nae me”.

The last straw in the re­cent ev­i­dence of SNP i ncom­pe­tence is First Min­is­ter Ni­cola Stur­geon’s in­fa­mous tweet pok­ing fun at Ruth Davidson us­ing a leaked record­ing of Ms Davidson’s re­hearsal for her con­fer­ence speech.

The First Min­is­ter tries to present her­self as a player on the internatio­nal stage. Can any­one i mag­ine Merkel or Macron stoop­ing to this level of pub­lic de­bate? Yet again, Scot­land is di­min­ished by SNP be­hav­iour.

Over the last ten years the SNP were handed a golden

op­por­tu­nity to demon­strate their com­pe­tence in im­prov­ing life in Scot­land. In­stead, they have dam­aged our ed­u­ca­tion sys­tem, failed to meet health tar­gets, un­der­mined the po­lice and presided over a rail sys­tem which con­sis­tent

ly fails pas­sen­gers. Their fail­ure to act in the man­ner we are en­ti­tled to ex­pect from gov­ern­ment min­is­ters is just the ic­ing on their cake.

CAROLE FORD Ter­re­gles Av­enue, Glas­gow

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